S (Scripture): Romans 13:8 Don’t be in debt to anyone, except for the obligation to love each other. Whoever loves another person has fulfilled the Law. 9 The commandments, Don’t commit adultery, don’t murder, don’t steal, don’t desire what others have, and any other commandments, are all summed up in one word: You must love your neighbor as yourself.10 Love doesn’t do anything wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is what fulfills the Law.
O (Observation): Paul encourages all followers of Christ to do the best they can to cooperate with governmental authorities and with one another. Here, Paul shows them the way forward, which was taught by Jesus: Love your neighbor as yourself.
In this simple (yet somehow extremely complicated and difficult) command, we find a way forward. Love is what fulfills the Law. Leading with love can guide one’s relationship with authorities and with one’s neighbor.
A (Application): Leading with Love is the key to relationships with authorities, with family, with strangers.
Yet leading with love can be quite challenging. For our emotions and feelings and desire for retribution can get in the way. If we think someone has wronged us, do we forget that? No…but we can work though that. Love allows us the space to work through the wrongs done to us.
So sometimes leading with love is simply about extending the grace first shown to you in Christ Jesus, so that others can receive the same grace you’ve received. You are not digging up grace on your own…you are simply giving to others what you have already received.
Lead with love. At the coffee shop, the gas station, your office, your classroom, the lunchroom, the park. Lead with love, and see if it becomes contagious. And don’t be surprised when someone asks you where you became a person that leads with love. Be ready to share your response : )
(Seriously. Literally rehearse what you are going to say. Sometimes we have to verbalize or write down our faith story to put it in perspective. It’s a good practice.)
P (Prayer): Lord, we receive your grace, unworthy as we are. You find a way to love each of us, for we are your creation. Thank you. Amen.