Jesus called us to love as the core of The Greatest Commandment (Matt. 22:36-40). Later, the apostle Paul shared that while faith and hope are key tenants to living well as a Christ-follower, it is love that is the greatest of all (1 Cor. 13:13).
Foursquare leaders around the world agree. When we asked them to share their best advice for living well, they knew the source: love. But what does love look like in practical application? And whom do we love?
The comments the following five leaders shared show us how to love, so as to live well. Be encouraged by their words, and choose ways you can love God, love others and love yourself, too.
Love God With All Your Heart
“To love and fear God. To keep my heart and conscience open and clear before Him. To stay close to my wife and family.” –John Bevere, bestselling author, Connection 2013 guest speaker, and founder of Messenger International
Love God and Others by Giving Thanks
“Stephen Norberg, a Foursquare church planter, said, ‘Any day spent loving God and loving people is a day well lived.’ If, at the end of my life, I can look back and say that every day of my life I loved God and loved people, then I’ve lived life well.
“One way I love God is through giving thanks: delighting in the gifts of now, like soap bubbles glistening, a dad’s passing smile or a friend’s hug. As a spiritual practice, I keep a gratitude journal: a list of things for which I’m thankful. I’m up to more than 1,800!” –Kelly Tshibaka, an ordained Foursquare minister and co-pastor of Mount Vernon Foursquare Fellowship (Mount Vernon Foursquare Church) in Alexandria, Va.
Love Your Spouse
“Many years ago in a family life class in seminary, I got one of the best pieces of advice on living well with your spouse I have ever heard. The professor pounded it into us all semester so we would never forget: ‘A good marriage is not as much a matter of finding the right person as being the right person.’
“If both of you [your spouse and you] can manage to live by these wise words, marriage can be a taste of heaven on Earth.” –Charlie Sattgast, an ordained Foursquare minister in Portland, Ore., who serves as a civil air patrol chaplain coordinator with Foursquare Chaplains International
“The best advice I’ve ever received on how to live well has been a compilation of thoughts over the years on the subject of authenticity.
“You can’t live someone else’s life in order to be truly fulfilled because if you do, you’re basically saying, ‘God, you made a mistake.’ You need to live as God created you, humbly and humanly. God knew what He was doing when He created your personality. Embrace it; live it.
“Don’t try to conform to what you think others expect of you; you’ll fail miserably and publicly. In other words, God can move through you when you see yourself as He created you.” –Gayle M. Samples, Ph.D., an ordained Foursquare minister, adjunct professor at Life Pacific College (also known as LIFE Bible College) and executive director of Emmaus Road Christian Counseling in San Dimas, Calif.
Love Your Enemies
“Best Advice: ‘Guard your heart against cynicism regarding human nature.’ This bit of advice, given to me years ago by Dr. Roy Hicks Jr., has served me well in over 30 years of ministry.
“Due to our daily dealings with human frailty, weakness and sin, it is easy—especially over time—to become discouraged and disillusioned about fallen human nature, including our own.
“As leaders, often we become objects of people’s disrespect, rejection and ridicule. Rather than reacting in cynicism, God calls us to a responsive surrender. Having received grace, I am empowered to be an instrument of grace. Having received forgiveness freely, I can freely forgive and, in the process, keep my heart devoted to Him.
” ‘Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it’ (Prov. 4:23, NIV).” –Kip Jacob, a Foursquare credentialed minister and lead pastor of SouthLake (Lake Oswego Foursquare Church) in West Linn, Ore.
Check back each Tuesday for the latest installment in our series on recommended ways to live well:
- How Do I Live Well? Find Contentment.
- How Do I Live Well? Be Present.
- How Do I Live Well? Achieve Balance.
- How Do I Live Well? Act Justly, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly.
See our story “What’s The Best Advice You Ever Received On How To Live Well?” in the July 2013 issue of Foursquare Leader magazine.
Compiled by: Allyson Siwajian, content coordinator for The Foursquare Church and Foursquare Leader magazine in Los Angeles