Guy Stern, a German Jew, who was the only family member to escape to the U.S. in 1937, became a member of a special military intelligence team called the Ritchie Boys. When asked how the Ritchie Boys were able to find out information in their aid against fighting the Nazi’s, Stern responded – “Violence or threats of violence didn’t work. It was complicity – common experiences and sharing a cigarette.”
A country and a people focused on what divides and intentionally pokes at differences, will eventually destroy itself from within and spread like cancer to its destruction. In 1858, President Lincoln, echoed the words of Jesus when he said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Matthew 12:25 (TLP) says, “Any kingdom that fights against itself will end up in ruins. And any family or community splintered by strife will fall apart.”
Destruction is the result of a divided family, community, and country. If we want to create life, restoration, and hope we must unite. We must find common experiences and share by simply breaking bread with others. Where do we start? Love.
Every human being has the desire to be loved - valued, understood, respected, and appreciated. Love is valuing others as a creative work of God, appreciating their uniqueness, and understanding that their upbringing or circumstances made them who they are today. John C. Maxwell said, “It is difficult to value other people if your focus is only on yourself and your own interests. People who devalue others often do so to get ahead in life. But success at the expense of others is ultimately unfulfilling.” Paul said, “Let love be without dissimulation” (Romans 12:9 KJV). “Without dissimulation” means to love without false pretense, hypocrisy, or counterfeit appearance. Imagine your workplace, church, family, and friends living without dissimulation or going to the extent of trying “to outdo yourselves in respect and honor one another” (Rom. 12:10 TLP).
We can do many things without a pure motive of love and gain absolutely nothing of value. There is no better definition of love than 1 Corinthians 13.
Ö Love is large and incredibly patient
Ö Love is gentle and consistently kind to all
Ö Love refuses to be jealous when blessing comes to someone else
Ö Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance.
Ö Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect
Ö Love does not selfishly seek its own honor
Ö Love is not easily irritated or quick to take offense
Ö Love joyfully celebrates honesty and finds no delight in what is wrong
Ö Love is a safe place of shelter.
Ö Love never stops believing the best for others
Ö Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up
Reading that list, each one of us can probably see areas in which we can improve. Begin by asking yourself how you can show love and add value to those you encounter today.
Developing Exceptional Leaders