Today, it seems like our culture has twisted the meaning of love 180 degrees. “I love” means “I want” or “I desire.” However, I suggest love is what you give, not what you get. Love should be entrepreneurial. Love should take risks by giving to those that deserve it and especially to those that don’t. The latter is the kind of love that needs to be structurally reinforced with rebar because it’s extremely hard to give. Both types need to be given with all humility and gentleness.
How you give love doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact, expect it to not be. You’ll make mistakes, just like any entrepreneurial venture does. The key is how you learn from and respond to those mistakes. Also, don’t expect to be able to do it alone. You need help, and more specifically, a Helper. Think of this Helper as an angel investor, someone who genuinely loves you and your purpose, and calls you to love Him first, as an act of obedience, and others second, as an act of humility. His currency is love, and He expects you to execute His business plan by investing love in others. With a passion to obey and a spirit of humility, you will develop a servant’s heart, which enables and empowers you to execute that plan.
Execution of that plan is not easy. You will need to adapt. You’ll need to be “audible ready.” That’s a football term where the quarterback changes the initial play called because of what the opposition is doing. Be willing to change the play by being joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer. With a positive attitude, patience, and prayer, the Helper will lead you and work for your good in all things. In other words, He promises good results as long as you keep loving Him loving others no matter what happens to you.
Here’s a simple story from my past week to illustrate. I called a colleague to discuss something. When they answered the phone I asked, “Is now a bad time for a 5-minute conversation?”
They answered, “No, it’s a good time. How’s everything, Marc?” In a positive tone, my reply was, “Well, thank you for asking. I’ve learned to be grateful no matter what is happening. I’m going through a rough patch, but I’m grateful for it. I just need to be patient through the ebbs and flows.”
They replied, “That’s right. That’s a good way to look at it.” We continued our conversation about the purpose of my call, which was about wanting to know if I could help him with something.
Now, I could have started the conversation in a completely different way. I could have lied and said, “Everything’s great,” and proceeded to my reason for calling. I didn’t have to ask if it was a bad time, but I wanted to be respectful and empathetic that I may be interrupting something he was in the middle of.
Rather, I wanted to be vulnerable and genuine to convey trustworthiness. I wanted to create a safe space so that he would feel comfortable giving me his honest answer. I wanted him to feel a loving tone and expression about the motivation for my call. My call was rooted in a loving purpose of wanting to help, and because I am grounded in love by my Helper, I am free to be entrepreneurial and take risks by extending that same love to others.
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.1 Corinthians 13:1-13