Readers of this blog know that our faith-at-work one-word focus for 2015 is flourish. Everyone wants to flourish … to thrive and not just survive. Like most important goals in our lives, we have to be intentional to make them happen. This is especially true of flourishing!
So this month, we are unpacking flourishing in this space. We are working to provide small (or large) morsels of manna to help encourage and equip you to live a life at work that is more purposeful. For your work to have more meaning and influence than, well, just work.
And where should this flourishing journey logically start? It starts with LOVE. Yes, love. It’s simple really. Jesus simplified our faith so beautifully when he said, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Matthew 22:37-39).
How can you express love at work?
It starts with your heart. It starts with you deciding that the simple advice Jesus gave us is your starting point at work – that the way you treat your coworkers, boss, customers, or partners will truly emanate out of love. This is an extremely difficult concept to implement at work for many of us. Our work culture often drives us in the opposite direction. Culture trains us to first look out for ourselves. What’s best for me? How do I succeed? Love changes your motive. As Steve Graves says in his book, Flourishing, “when I really love someone else it makes their narrative as important to me as my own.” That’s a game changer.
It ends with action. As your heart is conditioned to love God and love others, you’re ready to be intentional with that love. What does that look like at work? There are countless ways to put love into action, but let’s go to the source of all wisdom for some ideas:
If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
1 Corinthians 13:3-7 (MSG)
Without love, you will not flourish. It’s that simple. What can you do today, then tomorrow, to condition your heart with love, then move it out into action? A flourishing life at work awaits you!
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