Home > Articles > What Keeps Leaders from Loving?
What Keeps Leaders from Loving?
Identify the obstacles that keep you from fully loving others.


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"The greatest of these is love …" (I Cor. 13:13)

Why do so many of us fail to love as well, or as often, as we could? One reason: we have developed attitudes and/or actions which inhibit our ability to love. Like plaque that builds up in the arteries and inhibits the flow of blood through our system, "plaque" can build up in our lives and inhibit the flow of God's love to those around us.

What are these obstacles that keep us from loving? We can find many of them hidden in the apostle Paul's classic treatise on love (1 Corinthians 13). Here we can find both the qualities of love and the obstacles:

Love's Ideal — "Love is patient" / Love's Obstacle — Impatience

Impatience describes a person whose own agenda is more important than that of anyone else. This person has little time or care for others' concerns. An impatient person must constantly be entertained and quickly loses interest in people if they are not filling a need in his or her own life. The Greek word Paul uses for "patience" describes a person who has been wronged and has the power to avenge himself, but chooses not to. Impatience seeks revenge. Patience does not.

Rate yourself on the scales following each of love's obstacles:

"Most of the time, I am …"

Impatient |Patient

Love's Ideal: "Love is kind" / Love's Obstacle — Unkindness

Some people think kindness is synonymous with weakness. Therefore, they reason, one cannot obtain strength and power through kindness. Those who constantly see themselves in competition with others tend to be unkind. A latent sense of inferiority is another cause for unkindness. In contrast, love is the readiness to enhance the life of another person.

"Most of the time, I am …"

Unkind |Kind

Love's Ideal: "Love is trusting" / Love's Obstacle — Jealousy

Love naturally means concern. As love grows, concern for the beloved also grows. But often, without one realizing it, this concern can become possessive. Jealousy is normal concern that has grown out of control, just as a cancer cell is only a normal cell grown out of control. Jealousy requires total possession—it must have exclusive rights to another person. This emotion has the power to overwhelm and destroy the most sound and secure relationship, and the most rational person.

"Most of the time, I am …"

Jealous |Trusting

Love's Ideal: "Love is humble" / Love's Obstacle — Arrogance

Various Bible translations use different words for this obstacle to love: "boastful," "rudeness," "proud," "anxious to impress," "braggart," "cherishes the idea of its own importance." Arrogant people give their "love" away as though it were a tremendous favor. Their real purpose, however, is to put others down while trying to lift themselves up.

"Most of the time, I am …"

Arrogant |Humble

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Topics:Character, Christian life, Conflict, Difficult people, Forgiveness
Filters:Pastor, Pastoral care, Shepherd, Small group leader
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Displaying 1–4 of 4 comments

eunice duhaney

March 31, 2014  7:48pm

I am currently doing a bible study on love,finding this is nothing but a miracle.This study has sent me straight to the top of the class.Thanks and God bless you.

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Sharon

September 17, 2012  6:18pm

Excellent article!

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Abiodun Adeniyi

September 14, 2012  4:53am

I can now see the reason that those involve in sporting competition have problems with loving kindly because they are always involved in competing with thier fellow friends and they may sometimes not be aware of the boundary between competing on the field and competing in marriage. Thanks and God bless you.

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alegesan moses

September 14, 2012  3:34am

i would appreciate if you would be willing to send the messages to me, for my deeper learning and studies. God bless! pastor moses alegesn

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