Updated: Oct 5, 2020
Without going into a huge and long theological treatise of the differences between the soul, the heart, and the mind, I will, for this brief blog, treat them as one and the same. I know that there are differences and we could spend hours and hours wrangling about those differences, but for our discussion I will be referring to the "heart" as the seat of who we are. It is the heart where values are held and decisions are made and thoughts give way to behavior. It is the home of our motives. (Matt. 15:19)
So in this series we are talking about leadership and more specifically, Christian leadership. So now we turn our spotlight onto motivation. What should be our motive as we lead in Jesus' name?
The answers can be varied. Could it be to save everyone? Could it be to alleviate suffering? Could it be to stop evil? All laudable answers, but we need to go higher up the "food chain" to gain a foundation that will give all of these their proper perspective.
In Mark chapter 12 we find Jesus in the middle of a discussion with the religious leaders of that day. In verse 28 we find that a scribe, a person who was an expert in Jewish law and theology, asks Jesus what was the most important commandment.
Jesus answered him in verse 30 and said, "And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength." ESV But Jesus did not stop there, He went on to say, "The second is this: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these." ESV
So we can see that our motive for Christian leadership starts with a love for our Lord and then this is expressed through a love for others. The word "love" that is used in both of these commands is a love that is driven by a choice to seek the best for the one being loved. "Best" is to be defined by God's Word. This type of love is not friendship nor physical nor romantic (but it is both compassionate and passionate.) It is the word that describes God's love for us.
So our motive for leading is a love for our Lord which then is expressed through loving others. So you might ask, what does it mean to love God? Excellent question! That answer is left for another time.