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JESUS SAID THE GREATEST COMMANDMENT IS, “LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH,” (MARK 12:30, NIV). WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE TO LEAD THROUGH LOVING THE LORD WITH 100% OF WHO WE ARE?
When in a leadership position, there’s a temptation to boast about our accomplishments, abuse our power, and take advantage of those under us. However, Mark 12:30 brings us back to this foundational truth: It’s not about us.
One hundred percent of all that we are and all that is around us is because of God. He’s the One who gave us life, family, friends, skills, jobs, money, the ability to think and create—literally everything. By recognizing and acknowledging this truth, our priorities shift, and our motivation becomes doing, thinking and living according to what would please the Lord.
LOVE IN ACTION
One aspect to highlight when it comes to leadership is loving the Lord with all our hearts. What does it even mean to do this? My strength coach has a sign describing leadership that says, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” To me, this is the epitome of loving with a whole heart.
The Lord is unashamed to let the entire world know how deeply He loves us. Throughout the Gospel we read how intentional Jesus was with people of all backgrounds, professions and statuses. Jesus demonstrated His care in a variety of ways by healing bodies, weeping with those who mourned, listening to people, feeding the hungry, teaching masses, standing up for those who were being ridiculed or mistreated, and more. He intentionally made Himself available to people, took an interest in them, and expressed His love and compassion for them. He moved beyond simple lip service and chose to visibly and verbally demonstrate how He felt about them.
LOVING 100% OF THE TIME
One intriguing aspect of the command of Mark 12:30 is that it’s not conditional. We’re not called to love the Lord only when we feel like it or when things are easy. Sometimes leaders need to step in and have difficult conversations or address things to bring about change.
Have you ever had a teammate or employee who just wasn’t living up to their potential? Maybe they were weighed down by life or overcome by fear. It can be easy to dismiss them, get frustrated, or simply want nothing to do with them. However, in loving the Lord with our entire selves, we seek His wisdom in how to handle these situations.
An awesome example comes from the story of Gideon in Judges 6. Gideon’s people were being oppressed by the Midianites, and they needed a leader to bring them to freedom. The Lord knew that fear was choking out Gideon’s potential, so He sent an angel to encourage him. After this interaction, Gideon was able to step up and help the Israelites defeat the Midianites.
I have definitely been in Gideon’s shoes. And thankfully I had a leader who took the time to remind me of my God-given abilities and help me pursue the plans God had for me. Hopefully, I’m able to do the same for those who look to me as a leader now.
Today, may we all work to be better leaders by embracing the words of Jesus from Mark 12:30 and loving God with all that we are, and then letting that love flow through us onto those we lead.
Prayer: Jesus, help me to model Your example and become a positive leader for everyone I influence. Amen.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Gigi Marvin is a 13-year veteran of the U.S. women’s national hockey team who has helped Team USA to three Olympic medals (one gold, two silver), seven World Championship medals (five gold, two silver) and nine Four Nations Tournament medals (five gold, three silver, one bronze). Currently the owner and head instructor for RinkRat 19 Hockey School in Warroad, Minnesota, Marvin is also a two-time National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) All-Star and 2016’s NWHL Defensive Player of the Year.
Photos courtesy of USA Hockey