To live a full life, we need to properly position the first domino. If we do, then all other subsequent dominoes fall into place. That first domino must be about love, God’s love to be exact. Love God first, others second. The later is not possible without the first.
In conversations, words without love are just noise. If you don’t speak in love, then it doesn’t matter what you say. You can be the most charismatic and articulate conversationalist, but you’ll have wasted your breath.
Empathy is a powerful tool for showing love in a conversation. Empathy has three main parts:
- Use your eyes to start the conversation. Look at the other person intently. Give them your full attention. By doing so, you’re saying you love them because attention is love.
- Listen to understand how the other person is feeling. This requires being silent. If you’re talking, then you’re not listening because you can’t do both at the same time.
- When you do speak, speak in a soft, calm, inquisitive tone. This requires humility.
The key attribute in mastering empathy is subordination. Subordination of self-love to God’s love so that you may understand how to properly love others. Let’s call this a Kingdom-first policy. That’s the properly positioned “first domino.”
If we approach everything this way, He guarantees that the things we need will come as a natural by-product of seeking His love first. Taking a Kingdom-first approach guarantees relational harmony with others. Taking a relational harmony-first approach does not guarantee God’s love will be thrown in. In fact, it significantly raises the risk that self-love will trump the love of others, thereby defeating the purpose of making an attempt at a relationship or conversation.
What’s the number one measure of success for your life? Is it money? Is it status? It is material things? Is it God’s love?
It’s a fair question to ask because no one can serve two masters. You will either hate one and love the other, or you’ll stand by and be devoted to one and and despise and be against the other.
What’s your first domino?