Daily Devotion - April 22-2021 - Always Lead with Love

Pastor: Connie Belmore

Daily Devotion – April 22, 2021
Reading:
1 Samuel 16:7; 1 Thessalonians 5:8-22
Always Lead with Love

It has often been said that good leaders possess innate traits… in other words, some people were born to lead. Based on my own experience as a follower, I do not believe people are born to be leaders because of biological characteristics but are nurtured and trained to be leaders. It could be that some leaders are chosen based on biological traits, but that does not mean they will be good leaders. As I think about various bosses and supervisors from my past, the best ones have one common trait … love and concern for those they lead. To find the best example of loving leadership we need look no further than Jesus who loved us so much he came to earth, showed us how to live by laying down his life for our sins so that we would be forgiven as we die to our sins and are raised to new life in him. Today’s readings offer us specific advice on how to be a loving leader.

When the Lord led Samuel through the process of selecting the king who was to follow Saul as the leader of God’s people, he gave him this advice, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him [speaking of Eliab, David’s older brother]. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7) The most important trait for leadership according to God is what is in the heart.

The apostle Paul in his letter to the church at Thessalonica, further provides us with great advice about how to lead with love in today’s reading. Spiritual leadership begins with faith, love, and hope. This leadership is a lifestyle and is not just meant for leadership in the church but in every aspect of life that one assumes a leadership role whether that is at home or at work. Jesus loved us so much that he died for us so that we might live together in and with him. Encouragement and building others up through recognition of their hard work are evidence of loving leadership. Maintaining a peaceful work environment, providing a comforting and comfortable work environment, giving strength to those who are weak, and being patient are all ways to show those you lead how much you love and care about them. Paul does suggest that those who are idle should be warned out of love for them as well as those who are negatively impacted by their idleness. He concludes his advice about loving leadership by suggesting to always pursue what is good for all, each person individually as well as the entire group, and by creating a joyful, thankful, and Spirit-filled work environment. Finally, the leader who leads with love prays constantly for God to equip and empower him or her with all that is needed to motivate and inspire others, and to be an example and witness to all those he or she leads.

If you and I desire to be loving leaders, let us commit to being the kind of leader the Lord desires… one who has a heart full of love and who will lead as David led, despite his waywardness, and as Paul suggests in his letter to the Thessalonians. These are trying times with lots of tension and divisiveness. As spiritual leaders may we always lead with love.

Dear God, thank you for the many lessons we learn from your Son, Jesus, and the scripture about Christian leadership. Help us to always remember to lead with love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 
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