Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Intentional Love

Ephesians 5:2 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society
2and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

At work we have talked a lot about the "Fish Philosophy"--four principles that are so simple but that make a huge difference to the morale and effectiveness of a team. The difference happens because someone decides that they buy into the principles and decides to pay attention to them, looking for ways to bring them to life in their work. People who buy into the Fish Philosophy end up looking for ways to "make their day "(for other people), "be there" (focused on others), "play," and "choose" their "attitude." When a group of people buy into this idea, the energy and fun level goes up dramatically and even though the work doesn't change, our experience of it does.

A couple of days ago, I wrote about about living a "missional life," and how looking for people who need love is a powerful thing. I think that the powerful thing about it is that often we find what we look for. Just as practicing the Fish Philosophy heightens our awareness of opportunities to pay attention to people and look for ways to bring them joy, so we can expect that when we start to look for people who need to be loved, we will find them all around us.

Living a life of love isn't easy or "airy fairy." Everything in us is arrayed against it because our natural tendency is to focus on our own needs and not the needs of others. But I want to do it. I want to be looking intentionally, for those who need to be loved.

And the truth is that everyone needs to be loved.

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