If you missed the Part 1 of this blog series, you can read it 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.
If you missed Part 3 of this blog series, you can read it here. In part 3 we talked about having a handbook for love. This handbook will serve as a playbook for us as we live our lives.
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
As we finish up with this blog series, we will be talking about how this agape love can actually work at work. At the end of the blog, I will give you some questions to ask yourself and action steps you can take to making agape love a way of life in your life.
If agape love builds healthy relationships in all walks of life, why shouldn’t we always use it to build our organizations as well? Why isn’t there more dialogue about how to create and maintain healthy relationships at work> After all, common sense tells us that people will perform better if they are treated with respect and trust.
Joel Manby has served in large and small organizations, public and private, and also on boards of several nonprofit and for-profit organizations. He said that after 30 years of witnessing all forms of organized structures, he is still surprised at how willingly people discuss strategy and how to increase profit, but how people loath to discuss how to build and maintain a successful corporate culture by consistently treating all employees in a way that attracts and keeps the best talent in all levels of the organization.
Agape love is a leadership principle that holds leaders accountable and helps any organization become healthier and more enthusiastic. We should never leave love at the door when we come to work. Love works and we should be engaged in that idea, every single day. Thanks about love the verb, not love the emotion. Think commitment and will, not feelings, and you will start to see how love works.
Let’s look at a couple of more verses from the bible that I think really drive this point home.
1 John 3:18-20 (The Message)
18-20 My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality. It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves.
2 Peter 1:5-9 (The Message)
5-9 So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books.
Jim Vaus, a converted former gangster says, “When love is felt, the message is heard.” That is a really profound statement. Simple, yet very powerful.
Without love, anything we do is futile. That goes for work too. People who take advantage of others in order to climb the corporate ladder often say they are just “getting ahead.” They also often justify the rules to earn profit. This kind of thinking couldn’t be more warped. Ultimately, any undertaking that is not motivated by love is destined for failure.
As we end this blog series, I want to leave you with a few questions to ponder. I will also give you a few action steps that you can use to make agape love a more practical part of your life.
Why do you think that 1 Corinthians Chapter 13 (Love Playbook) is so widely quoted?
Why is love such a central teaching of the Christian faith?
Which of the characteristics of love (found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7) do you see on display in your workplace? Which ones are lacking?
What steps can you take to make your work culture and environment more conducive to loving others?
- Talk to some of your friends or family about some good practices you can apply to your respective workplaces.
- Find ways you can serve others at your workplace. Start small and work your way up.
- Pick one person who you work with and make a point to do at least one thing each week towards that person that demonstrates an agape type of love.
Practicing agape love in the workplace may be difficult at first because it might seem strange. Keep at it. It will become easier as you go. If you continue to show agape love on a consistent basis, you just might see a miracle at work.