What does it mean to be a leader?
I feel like culture and society glorifies the word. After all, what organization isn’t looking for someone with exceptional leadership skills?
The question I’m going to pose is: How often do we think about leading with love?
The word leader evokes power, strength, control, and people with stern faces wearing suits. Leader, when I think about it, does not bring to mind smiles, fun, laughter, or kindness.
When we find ourself in leadership positions, do we strive to lead with love? Or, do we strive to exert our power and flaunt our superiority? I know, finding a balance in between is difficult, and being a girl…well, that’s a different story altogether.
What I forget is that Jesus led with love. Glynnis Whitwer wrote: “Jesus didn’t scold those whose weaknesses were evident. He didn’t shame the prostitute or the beggar. He didn’t publicly correct those struggling with sin. Instead, He welcomed them to come to Him and receive mercy and forgiveness. Jesus always led with love.”
Isn’t that wonderful? Jesus was not a macho, I’m-stronger-and-better-than-you guy who was always ready for a throw-down. He hung out with the uncool kids…the people that we sometimes feel aren’t worth our while. Maybe we are those people.
I had a beautiful conversation with the security guard who works in my building. His name is Robert and he really exemplifies what it means to walk with God…and to lead with love. Right now, he has a terrible roommate. This roommate is messy, loud, and generally inconsiderate. But when recounted his situation to me, Robert spoke without bitterness nor hatred. He was frustrated, but what shone through more than anything was Robert’s desire to be more like Jesus. Instead of talking bad about this roommate, Robert has been trying to help him. Quietly, not judging, because he knows that this roommate needs Jesus. And, Robert understands that to shun and hate this man makes him no better. So, as he shared with me today, Robert has made it his mission to love this roommate.
It’s really, really easy to judge people. I’m saying that because I judge people. A lot. And, it’s not easy to lead with love. But, I want to challenge myself (and you!) to judge less and love more. Culture says that doing this wouldn’t make us very “strong” leaders. It goes against a lot of the notions that go along with power. Thankfully, we’re not being held to the standards of society, and we don’t have to be in positions of power to lead with love. We’re being held to God’s standards. If we claim to be His followers, then we will strive to live a life that emulates Jesus’. Think about how beautiful it would be to lead with compassion and kindness instead.
Have a beautiful week. Don’t be afraid to lead with love! And as always, here is the original inspiration: http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devo/i-want-to-be-right/