“. . . and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing”
1 Corinthians 13:2b (NIV).
Many years ago, a friend and I took a day trip to Beverly Hills. Famous for its lavish boutiques and wealthy residents, we just wanted to have a nice lunch and do some window shopping. As we made our way along one particular street, we couldn’t resist stepping into a women’s clothing store that looked inviting. As we browsed, I noticed the sales person greet a gal who was just entering. She whisked her to a brunch table full of goodies and then immediately took her to the fitting room. At first I didn’t think too much about it. There were absolutely no price tags on anything so I was confident nothing was in my price range. But after the same scenario a couple more times, I realized the sales people had not even said hello when my friend and I walked in. To be honest, the fact we were ignored still makes me smile even now. Since then however, that experience has gotten a lot of mileage in my life from the Holy Spirit.
Being in leadership can sometimes create a cocoon for us. With our team and/or our friends securely around us, it is not difficult to become insulated. Whether or not it is on purpose, we may ignore someone who is new or who appears to fit somewhere outside our comfy bubble. At times I’ve not been immune to this. Not my finest hour, but one which the Holy Spirit makes sure doesn’t go unnoticed. The memory of my Beverly Hills experience continues to be a good reminder that love is not optional.
We are human and there are times love is not an instinctive response. That does not mean we can allow our fallen nature to get the best of us, however. God’s Word tells us: “And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love” (2 John 1:6, NIV). The choice is not in how we love but in how we obey.
“God teaches us to love by putting unlovely people around us. It takes no character to love people who are lovely and lovely to you.”