Lead with Love
Updated: Sep 1, 2019
If you could go back in time 15 years, what would you change?
One thing I would do differently is change how I approached relationships. As a young believer, I wasn’t given the necessary tools to know how to deal with conflict or disagreement with others in the body of Christ.
I have one thing to share with you that I believe could change your relationships forever!
This is what the Lord has been teaching me: Lead with Love.
The church hasn’t done a great job at defining love or giving expression to what love looks like. The church has presented love as “I have to agree with you to love you or I have to agree with all of your choices before I can love you.”
God loved me when I wasn’t looking for Him. Romans 5 says when I was a sinner, and of no use to God, He sent His Son to die for me.
"For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." - Romans 5:6-8 NKJV
God didn’t put any conditions on His love.
In the past, I was mistaken. I knew a few people who were making bad choices, taking actions that are not good, struggling with ungodly habits. I thought the Christian thing to do was to keep on hammering them with why they’re wrong.
I thought that somehow they would decide to agree with me and stop the wrong that they were doing.
Would you like to guess how that has worked out for me? Not well!
Back then, I had a religious, Pharisee view of Christianity.
After growing in the understanding of grace and the New Testament, I learned: You have to lead with love.
You can only facilitate change in another person’s life if you have a platform to influence them and if they trust you.
If you keep badgering a person, judging them and condemning them, they’re not going to give you room to influence them.
They will Isolate themselves, avoid you, turn a deaf ear to you and turn blind to you.
If you truly love people and want them to be the best that God has called them to be, then you need to get them to hear the wisdom you have.
You need them to hear the truth! But for them to hear, you have to lead with love.
I’m not asking you to compromise what you believe in.
I’m not trying to tell you to compromise the Word or say something is not sin when the bible says it “is” sin.
However, being aggressive and judgmental only makes people shut down and avoid you.
I suggest that you lead with love.
I would submit to you that to effect change in a person's life, you have to have influence.
There are a few key ingredients to cultivate influence in a person’s life.
They have to know:
1. That you unconditionally love them. You don’t have to agree with them on everything. Sometimes we love people but we don’t necessarily love what they do. Love is not predicated on an agreement.
2. That you honor and respect them. People need to feel that you respect them. There’s a basic foundational level of respect that you can give to any person.
With these ingredients in place, you now have an opportunity to speak into a person’s life.
The mistake that many have made is in trying to speak into people’s lives without a welcome mat—an open door.
Many Christians are so justice oriented and they have an attitude that says, “I’m right and I have 100 scriptures that prove that I’m right.”
Would you rather be right and lose the relationship? And lose this person?
Or would you rather walk in humility and say, my goal isn’t to convince the other person that I’m right but that the Holy Spirit would minister to this person so they don’t miss out on what God has for them.
Your motivation has to be godly. It can’t be about you. The correction can’t be about you.
Now I ask myself this question, “Do people around me, in my community, feel comfortable coming to me with their challenges, failures, mistakes, and sin?”
I want people around me to have no fear that I will yell at them or judge them.
Instead, I am going to speak the truth in love. I will be hopeful, champion them, call them up to their identity in Christ. I will always leave the aroma of hope and potential in their heart.
This is what it looks like to lead every relationship in your life with love.