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

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Love's Ideal: "Love is generous" / Love's Obstacle — Selfishness

If there is one quality that creates an insurmountable barrier to love, it is selfishness. Actions motivated by selfishness are exactly the opposite of actions motivated by love. Christ knew about the problem of selfishness when he said, "Unless a grain of wheat falls to into the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds" (John 12:24). Selfishness seeks its own way, and in the process loses it. Love seeks the way of others, and in the process finds its own.

"Most of the time, I am …"

Selfish |Generous

Love's Ideal: "Love is slow to anger" / Love's Obstacle — Irritability/touchiness

Christ had strong words for those who are quick to anger: "But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment; again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, 'Raca' [and Aramaic term of contempt], is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell" (Matthew 5:22). "My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry" (James 1:19).

"Most of the time, I am …"

Irritable/touchy | Slow to anger

Love's Ideal: "Love is forgiving" / Love's Obstacle — Resentfulness

Resentfulness is the accumulation of irritations suffered in the past, recalled in the present. The word Paul used for resentfulness was an accountant's word for entering an item in a ledger so it would not be forgotten. This is exactly what many people do, and it is a great obstacle to love. "I'll forgive, but I'll never forget" mocks the true meaning of forgiveness. Resentfulness looks to the past rather than the future. Love releases memory's grip on a wrong suffered or a hurt inflicted.

"Most of the time, I am …"

Resentful |Forgiving

Love's Ideal: "Love hates evil" / Love's Obstacle — Loving evil

What did Paul mean when he said, "love hates evil"? In Love Within Limits, Lewis Smedes says that loving evil is not so much finding pleasure in doing wrong as it is the spiteful satisfaction in hearing or saying something derogatory about another. Surprisingly, people who work the hardest at their high moral standards often love evil the most! As they struggle to live a life of abstinence from worldly things, they condemn those who do not. They gloat at the stumbling of those who "compromise with the world" and look forward to the judgment when these hypocrites will get their dues. Their message of the Gospel begins with condemnation. It centers on judgment. It ends in separation. Love seems nowhere to be found.

"Most of the time, I …"

Love evil |Hate evil

Love's Ideal: "Love is always there" / Love's Obstacle — Inconsistency

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Topics:Character, Christian life, Conflict, Difficult people, Forgiveness
Filters:Pastor, Pastoral care, Shepherd, Small group leader

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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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