“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – Jesus, John 13:34-35
How we approach the mission God has given us…matters.
We can create situations that God is able to work through us or in spite of us. Clearly “through” us is better. None of us ever want to hinder the work God, but how we approach opportunities to live SENT…matters.
Years ago, I came across a quote from former U.S. Senate Chaplain, Dr. Richard Halverson, and it’s stuck with me. He said:
“You can offer your ideas to others as bullets or as seeds. You can shoot them, or sow them: hit people in the head with them, or plant them in their hearts.
“Ideas used as bullets will kill inspiration and neutralize reality in the life in which they are planted.
“The only risk in the seed approach: Once it grows and becomes part of those in whom it’s planted, you probably will get no credit for originating the idea. But if you’re willing to do without the credit . . .you’ll reap a rich harvest.”
Dr. Halverson is right! We don’t have to read very much in the Bible to realize that seed planting is more Biblical than sending rounds down range. It is also more effective; but in our zeal, we can end up turning people away from God instead of toward Him.
As we seek to live SENT, it will continue to be increasingly important to lead with love. It is the mark of a believer. Jesus said it is how people will know we follow Him.
However, we need to communicate the truth in love…not love in truth. [ref. Ephesians 4:15] There is a difference between the two.
Delivering love in truth is the bullet method. It leads with force and impact. It more about information delivery without the context of genuine relationship or sufficient care, and it can hurt more than help. However, communicating truth in love is seed planting. It leads with love. Its rooted in sincere relationship, and it leads to a greater harvest.
It should be our primary delivery system. Planting seeds, not bullets.
The difference between the two is significant, and both have a tremendous ripple.
So…which method are you using in your marriage, family, workplace or any other relationship? It matters.
In Part 2 of this post, we’ll look at some specific steps to help us ensure we are planting more seeds than bullets in all of our live SENT opportunities.
Until then, look for ways to lead with love, and seek to plant seeds that God can use to grow into a great harvest to life change and impact in the people he has positioned in your life.