As men and women of God we know that we must live and operate within God’s “Circle of Love.” God places a very high emphasis on love. The word “love” is used 209 times in 195 verses in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, the word “love’ is used 250 times in 201 verses. The word “compassion” is used 41 times in 41 verses in the Old Testament and 11 times in 12 verses in the New Testament. We find then, God’s Word talking about love and compassion 511 times in the Bible, and clearly an emphasis in the New Testament. In this blog, we will look at love and compassion and examine the application of servant leadership principles and behavior in the marketplace. Can love and compassion replace fear as a tool for motivating human behavior? What happens when leaders adopt a servant’s heart and create a culture based on love and compassion? Is there a place for love in the marketplace and is loving others good for business?
JESUS COMMANDS US TO LOVE OTHERS
Showing love and compassion requires you to focus on others and not on self. It means that you are sensitive to and minister to the needs of others regardless of the demands of time and place. It requires that you live in the moment. It requires that you have an intense commitment to making your life count for what matters the most. God’s Word tells us in Matthew 22:36-40, “Teacher, which kind of commandment is great and important (the principal kind) in the Law?
Jesus gave us the perfect example of servant leadership as He related to His disciples and to the world at large. You might ask, does love work in business and if so, how?
WHAT IS LOVE AND HOW DO WE RECOGNIZE IT?
Paul’s treatise in love in 1Corinthians Chapter 13 shows us what love is. It sets the standard we are to live by. Paul says that love:
1. Endures to the end
2. Is patient
3. Is kind
4. Is never envious
5. Is not jealous
6. Is not boastful or vain
7. Is not proud or arrogant
8. Is not conceited
9. Is not rude or impolite to others
10. Does not act improperly or inappropriately
11. Does not demand or insist on its own way
12. Is not self-seeking, but puts others first
13. Is not touchy, fretful or resentful
14. Does not keep a record or score of hurts or offenses
15. Rejoices when truth and righteousness prevail
16. Stands strong, bears up against whatever comes
17. Always ready to believe the best of others
18. Never gives up hope regardless of the circumstances
19. Holds out, refuses to yield, give up or quit, endures whatever comes
20. Never, never, never fails
DOES LOVE REALLY WORK IN THE BUSINESS WORLD?
Traditional business in the modern world has operated on a model of command and control. Leaders and managers use fear and intimidation, threats of disciplinary action and termination to motivate and control employee behavior. Jesus said there was a better way. Over the last several decades, Robert Greenleaf and Ken Blanchard and others have offered leaders an alternative. That alternative is based on love and compassion, not fear and intimidation. Their approach is based on the very behavior and teachings of Jesus. It is built on serving others and putting the needs of others before self-interest. Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges book, “Lead Like Jesus” and their non-profit are dedicated to teaching business men and women a better way – a way to serve others and love them and trust love to lead to desired results and profitability.
In an article published in January 2016, on the Modern Servant Leader website, entitled, “Fortune’s Best Companies to Work For with Servant Leadership,” the following 17 organizations are considered companies practicing servant leadership:
- SAS (#1 on the list of Best Companies to Work For)
- Wegmans Food Market (3)
- Zappos.com (6)
- Nugget Market (8)
- Recreational Equipment (REI) (9)
- Container Store (21)
- Whole Foods Market (24)
- QuikTrip (34)
- Balfour Beatty Construction (40)
- TD Industries (45)
- Aflac (57)
- Marriott International (71)
- Nordstrom (74)
- Men’s Wearhouse (87)
- CH2M Hill (90)
- Darden Restaurants (97)
- Starbucks (98)
Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy is often cited as a great example of a servant leader along with Herb Keller of Southwest Airlines. Every year, the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership educates, equips and encourages business owners and corporate executives in Servant Leadership. On the cover of his book, “Lead Like Jesus, author Ken Blanchard, boldly states, “LESSONS from the Greatest Leadership Role Model of ALL TIME”. Maybe it is time for you to embrace love and compassion as your leadership model.
In this lesson, we were reminded that Jesus commanded us to love God with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength and to love others as ourselves. When we live and operate in God’s “Circle of Love” we walk in His power and anointing. Love conquers all. It never fails. When we live and operate in God’s perfect love, we experience His love, His power, His anointing in our lives. Questions you must ask yourself include the following:
1. Am I sensitive to others needs? If not, why not?
2. When I become aware of the need for love and compassion in others how do I feel?
3. Do I show love and compassion to others? If not, why not?
4. Do I act in the moment or go off to think about it?
5. When I show love, what do I do? What is your “love language”?
6. What is your wife’s “love language”, your children’s?
7. Who is it easiest to show love and compassion to in my life?
8. Who do I find it difficult to show love and compassion to in my life?
9. Why is it difficult? What are you afraid of?
10. Cite some recent examples of expressions of love and compassion.
SELF-REFLECTION AND APPLICATION
Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you about this teaching. Ask Him to reveal hidden truths and show you and changes you need to make in your daily work life so you can integrate your faith and work and honor God in your work.
1. What did you learn from this lesson?
2. What Scriptures spoke to you?
3. What changes do you need to make to apply what you learned?