While I’m on vacation this week I’ve asked a few of my friends to provide guest posts. This first one is from my friend Chip Judd. Chip has had a huge influence on my thinking about the heart of leadership. He is a professional counselor who has been counseling individuals, marriages, and families for almost twenty years. His approach is a biblically sound blend of spirit-filled theology and what he calls “sanctified psychology.” Chip’s driving desire in ministry is to see people experience and enjoy real freedom and lasting change. To learn more about Chip go to www.chipjudd.com or follow him on Twitter @chipjudd.
LEADERSHIP — WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT?
It seems odd to stress the importance of love to leaders, particularly Christian leaders. But I’m not focusing on the importance of the love that you bring to your role or display through your responsibilities. I’m talking about the love you receive and the ease or lack of ease with which you receive it.
We would probably all agree that love is one of our most important needs, preceded only by air, water and food (maybe sex). But how many of us live life from a place or sense of fullness rather than a sense of emptiness striving for fullness? Matthew 10: 8 says,
“Freely (easily and without cost or conditions) you receive (for yourself), then freely (easily and without cost or conditions) you give (to others).”
What if it’s not so? What if your capacity to receive love is damaged or underdeveloped? Does that have any impact on the way you do life and leadership with and for others?
When you live empty and for fullness you tend to be driven in your approach to work, relationships, success, etc… Your work/rest balance and priorities are easily and frequently skewed. When you learn to live from fullness, not for fullness, you live from rest and more naturally and easily maintain a healthier sense of life-balance and priority.
1 John 4:19 says “We love [him] because he first loved us.”
Imagine starting your day already full of the love, approval, acceptance and sense of significance that you need. And imagine that that is accomplished in the first hour of your day over a cup of coffee while still in your pajamas.
Your first and greatest act of obedience and service to God is to allow him the pleasure of loving you. He didn’t create you to do chores — he created you to receive his love and then reflect that love back to him. Let me recommend the addition of a new tool into your “Life and Leadership Toolbox” — the ability and practice of going to God first and most to receive the love and other soul-satisfying elements you seek and need.
Consider the following:
Do you routinely spend part of your God-time just receiving His love?
Have you ever practiced being mindful of His awesome, unconditional love for you as you go through your day?
Are there some people, activities or achievements you need to release from their job of making you feel special, accepted and loved when you consider that God would be honored to do that Himself?