February 26, 2007
Romans 12:9 – Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
There is a prayer that has been part of my life, ministry, and business for many years. I pray it as I am preparing to speak, teach, sell, or perform in any capacity before people in large or small groups. It is the prayer for love. I ask God to help me love the people with whom I am about to work and where my love is deficient, to love them through me.
If I can have that prayer answered in and through me, everything else takes care of itself. There is no way to fake it when I do not love. There is no way to hide it when I do.
There is much in the world that disguises itself as love. Out of the noisy menagerie of voices declaring what true love is, there comes a call to sincere, undiluted, unpolluted love. The clarion cry is the music of agape love. It is God’s purist and best favor toward undeserving and non-reciprocating sons and daughters of our first parents who unceremoniously turned their backs on their Maker.
O Love that wilt not
let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.
Two characteristics of such durable and relentless love are that it abhors what is evil and cleaves to what is good. Abhorrence of evil means that sincere love rejects every enemy of love and all that sets out to destroy the object of its love. If it is not good for us, God despises it and calls upon us to despise and reject it. Whatever destroys our potential and our intimacy with God is to be hated with extreme prejudice. In like manner, to cleave to what is good is to practice the sincerest form of love. It is to embrace everything that nurtures, challenges, encourages, and purifies the child of God. Let us encourage within ourselves that divine quality that flows from the heart of God. Let us reject all that destroys and embrace all that builds.
Is it possible for those of you whose ministry is launched from the arena of a sales profession to practice this prayer as well as those of us who are in full time church based ministries? I think so. I first learned to practice it intentionally while teaching traffic school. Love is pervasive and its value is all consuming. Loving people is the very heart of integrity and good business.