Leaders love the unlovable. Leadership is different than friendship. We choose our friends. We don’t always choose the people we lead. In fact leaders often lead people who seem unlovable. People come into our sphere of influence for various reasons, but two reasons are paramount; to bring influence into their lives and to bring their influence into our lives. This often stretches us as leaders.
As people come into our sphere of influence our intrinsic leadership nature is to impart something to them. However, occasionally we find someone who presents every rough, abrasive element of personality that absolutely grates on us……we feel no warm, affectionate emotion toward them. Let’s be real here! It’s true! Don’t get religious and say you don’t experience this in your leadership! But here’s the revelation …….love does not require affectionate emotion, but it does require benevolent intention.
The New Testament primarily uses 3 Greek words for ‘love’; phileo is an emotional, affectionate love; storge is a familial, brotherly love; and agape is a supernatural, intentional love. Agape is a moral, dutiful benevolence irrespective of emotion or family status. It shows the benevolent in the face of the malevolent. It is intentional. All true, authentic leadership is rooted in agape toward those we lead in spite of emotions we feel. Paul prayed this: ‘And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.’(Eph. 3:17)
If we desire to have the Government of God established in our churches, businesses, and governments, we must embrace the establishment of love (agape) in hearts toward people we lead, especially those who seem unlovable! Very often they are there to stretch and mature US! Loving the lovable is easy, but God asks that we stretch to love the unlovable. Note in this verse that establishing love brings power and the ‘fullness’ of God. The fullness of Christ is the fullness of God’s government IN YOU. Authentic agape therefore requires benevolent intention from YOU. You must decide to S T R E T C H? Decide today to stretch yourself in the loving the unlovable. You will establish God’s government in you and in your governing.