In Christ we are taught to “Love One Another.” How does that work? It seems to be an impossible command. When Jesus taught to love our neighbors as ourselves, did he really know about that guy that lives next door? How can we truly love ALL our neighbors, even our enemies? Certainly, there must be some people that God would give us a pass on. God must know my neighbor can be a jerk.
For those who don’t follow Christ, doesn’t society mandate us to be kind, to love each other? Love permeates our culture. It is in our music, those warm fuzzy TV commercials, and at the movies. It seems we are surrounded by an expectation of Love. Growing up in the sixties, our generation was nicknamed the “Love Generation,” where we declared love was free, and it was all we needed. We even dedicated an entire season to it: The “Summer of Love.” One of my favorite bands in the sixties, The Beatles, taught us that “All You Need is Love” and that love was the answer to most of the problems of the world. John Lennon’s famous quote, “Love is the Answer. What was the Question?” said it all.
If we humans are so fixated on love, why is there so much hatred, rage and anger in the world? Sadly, even inside of our church communities, love seems to be idle, giving way to divisiveness, competition, and separation from others. Love has been examined, dissected, and philosophized about since the first human walked the planet. We have been taught there are multiple versions of love; variations based on language, psychological perception, and biblical interpretations.
Each explanation breaks love into multiple descriptions, most tied to physical feelings. Are we over-analyzing love into obscurity? The smaller the variant, the less significant each piece is. Don’t we work to “divide and conquer” most things that we don’t understand or can’t control?
Throughout my life, loving my fellow man has been the anchor in my relationships; personally, casually, and in my career. Not one love for this person, and another type of love for someone else. Instead, my goal was to always lead with unconditional love. That is, love without requirements, specifications, or expectations of reciprocation. Love based in caring and empathy, instead of physical feelings. Not always an easy path.
My book, Love Others Loudly is a story of how love has always worked in my life and is still at the core of all my interactions with others. How leading with unconditional love guided my steps; keeping me focused on the needs of others and not myself. A path that took a high school dropout working 12 hours a day in a dirty warehouse in Des Moines, Iowa, to the senior management staff of a Fortune 500 company and beyond.
“God blesses us, not for ourselves, He blesses us so that we may bless others."
Rowdy Van Horn, Pastor, One Church, Scottsdale
Above all, LOVE!
"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins."
1 Peter 4:8 NIV
Above All else …