If you missed the Part 1 of this blog series, you can check it out here. In Part 1 we talked about a different kind of company.
If you missed Part 2 of this blog series, you can read it here. In part 2 we talked about agape love and what that means.
Just so you can keep up with were we are in this series, here is the outline of the 4 parts of this blog series:
Part 1: A Different Kind of Company
Part 2: Agape Love
Part 3: The Handbook of Love: A Playbook for Life
Part 4: Putting Love into Play at Work
In today’s blog we will be talking about having a handbook for love. This handbook will serve as a playbook for us as we live our lives. This playbook will tell us exactly what we need to do to show agape love everyday.
Basing the leadership behavior of an organization on the definition of agape love may strike you as a new or revolutionary idea. If you base your point of view on the context of modern American organization practices, it is a new and revolutionary idea. The inspiration for using agape love as a leadership principle actually comes from one of the oldest and most respected authorities on human behavior in the world: the Bible.
Chapter 13 of 1 Corinthians is known as the “love chapter” because of the strong words that Paul wrote about what love is and what it entails. In fact, almost any wedding you attend will often quote this chapter. Even though the chapter is pretty short, it is packed with lots of powerful insight on the topic of love and more specifically, what agape love is. This chapter serves us well as a playbook for the type of love that we should not only show our spouse, but all the people we deal with everyday. That includes the people at work.
1 Corinthians 13 (NIV)
13 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
This is agape love. These are the principles that will transform your organization, from the bottom line to the of your employees’ hearts. Love is patient, kind, trusting, unselfish, truthful, forgiving, and dedicated. How these words get worked out in the context of a successful organization may surprise you. If you take the time to study it, you will find that these loving principles work quite well into any work environment. You can have a strong loving environment in the workplace and that does not mean that the employees will perform poorly or that the bottom line will suffer. In fact, you may find that the exact opposite could result.
D.L. Moody, a minister and evangelist, had the following to say about this idea. “Joy is love exalted; peace is love in repose; long-suffering is love enduring; gentleness is love in society; goodness is love in action; faith is love on the battlefield; meekness is love in school; and temperance is love in training.” I think that is so beautiful and at the same time insightful.
So from one of the oldest books ever written, we get our playbook for the game of life. We need to memorize it and carry it around with us everywhere we go. When we follow the characteristics in this playbook, we are demonstrating agape love and our lives and the lives of those we interact with will be different because of it.
Playbook for Love and Life
As we end today’s blog, I would like to leave you with another question to ponder.
Which characteristics of the above love playbook do you need to work on in your life?