To all prospective employers (and anyone else who cares to read)

February 9, 2011

In the 1980’s and 90’s Matsushita Electric was the largest company in the world.  They made Panasonic electronics among other things.  I remember reading an interview with the president of the company sometime in the early 90’s.  The president (whose name I don’t remember) was asked, “What is the most important thing you need to do as president of the world’s largest corporation?”  His answer has stayed with me for almost twenty years.  “To model love.”  Nothing about profits, productivity or production.  Not a word about budgets, billing or business plans.

“To model love.”  Profound in its simplicity, universal in its scope.  I decided when I read that interview that I had found my new business model.

Now I can’t say that I have always behaved that way.  But I always want to.

I don’t want to be just a clashing cymbal or banging gong.   When I look at the way Jesus treated people, it was always with love.  Consider the story of the rich young ruler, who wasn’t ready to sell all that he had to follow.  “Jesus looked at him and loved him.”  (Mark 10:21)  Throughout the New Testament what stood out about the followers of the Way was their love.  In First John, one of the major themes, if not the main theme is love.  Look at just a few verses from the 4th chapter of I John.

 

7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us…

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 

19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

It’s pretty clear the model should be love.  Whether I am teaching children or students, or training leaders and ministry partners, love needs to be at the center of what I do.  For the last several years of my last ministry position I believe that it could be said about me that I loved my team and they loved me.  I accomplished much for Christ, we led hundreds to and toward Jesus, we continually raised the bar on the quality of what we offered in our ministry.  But all that pales into insignificance when we held it up to the love we had for each other.

Love was my guiding principle, and love will continue to be.  As for gifts, they will fade.  As for programs and presentations, they will cease.  Where there is great worship and music, it will be stilled.  Where there is wonderful training and teaching, it will pass away.  When I was younger I spoke like an expert and reasoned like a professional.  I have put that childishness behind me.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
It is my goal to model love in all I do.
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