loving others

A People-First Culture

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Mark 10:25 Yesterday, we talked about how having a big vision for our lives and leadership has the potential to empower others. We also looked at how being more devoted to rules and standards than human beings creates a “quack quack” model in our corporate or personal culture and how such a mentality deflates and discourages people. Today, to solidify these concepts, I want to share a story with you. Years ago, pre 9/11, Ken Blanchard, one of the authors of the “Lead Like Jesus” series that we’ve been learning from, was traveling on a Southwest Airlines flight. After unloading his luggage at the curb, he realized he had forgotten his wallet. He figured he would be turning around at that point, but instead,

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Surrender the Fight

“God again set a certain day, calling it ‘Today.’ This he did when a long time later he spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted: ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.’” – Hebrews 4:7 I’ve heard stories about soldiers who’ve gone to war, and though they depart from home full of life, vitality, and hope, they return bitter and disillusioned. Fighting for so long — often on the front lines and in the face of death itself — leaves them wounded and unable to let their guard down again. And while most of us haven’t been in this kind of physical combat, the fatigue of fighting is something that we all can relate to. So today, I’m writing to the warriors who are battle-scarred and weary. Life has dealt you a hard blow, and it’s been one thing after another. Maybe it’s losing

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Stubborn For Truth

“If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” – James 4:17 I shared yesterday about catching a shark when I was eleven years old, and how it taught me that being stubborn for what I want is (usually) a good thing. Another growing up story that reminds me of my unyielding nature happened when I was in the car with a friend a few years later. Michael was his name, and we were busy talking when he got into the drive-thru line at In-N-Out Burger. Somewhat distracted, he moved ahead a bit too quickly and just tapped the bumper of the vehicle in front of us. Naturally, he felt really bad, so we got out to inspect for damage. When we noticed a bunch of scuffs and scratches on the back of the other guy’s car, Michael began giving

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Love Goes and Love Gives

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.” – 1 John 4:7-9 Today is Valentine’s Day, and though it’s become synonymous with roses, hearts, and candy, the true purpose of this holiday is to honor love. Of course, popular culture has given us thousands of songs and images to convey its own version of this mysterious virtue, but the fact remains that there is only one way to define love, and that’s God. The Bible says that God is love, and if we invert that phrase, we learn that love is also God. Since the Lord is the

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Love is Time

“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” – 1 John 3:18 With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, we see and hear the word love a lot. Though this invisible virtue is oft-celebrated and idealized in film, story, and song, it behooves us to apply ourselves to its true meaning. You see, more than feelings, emotions, or romance, love is action, and it becomes tangible as we put it into motion by giving priority to the interests of others. One of the most important ways we do this is by spending time with people. At my Grandpa Schuller’s memorial service, my dad shared a very touching story. He recalled that when he was a little boy, his dad (my grandpa) was preparing to go on a fishing trip with his buddies. As he gathered his gear and waited for his friends to

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The Sting of Severity

“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’ Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.” – Philippians 2:14-16 When Epaphroditus visited the imprisoned Apostle Paul, he had an opportunity to share with his friend, who was also the congregation’s founder, that false teaching had seeped into the doctrine of the church at Philippi. Though they had been schooled in freedom and grace, they were allowing legalism in things like dietary restrictions and mandatory circumcision to penetrate their ranks. Such unfortunate news compelled Paul to address these practices in a letter, and thus we have the book of Philippians. In this famous epistle, the apostle gives guidance to the church about legalism, which is something he could speak on with great

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