Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 4:8-11
“So, you won’t have to work very hard today” was her response. I had told a colleague that my day didn’t have a lot of meetings in it. She thought I wouldn’t work hard and that the day would be less productive. And I think she said it seriously. While I appreciated her encouragement to balance my energy, this phrase stuck in my mind. It led me to consider two false assumptions:
1) If you have a full calendar, people assume you are being productive. Is it true that a meeting is always the best way forward? Not always. However, it could be a way to get everyone’s questions answered and share information broadly. It’s good collaborative and brainstorming space. But meetings are not a place of productivity because rarely does task completion occur.
2) Here’s assumption number two that people assume if your calendar isn’t full of meetings: If you do not have a full calendar, you have an excuse to not complete a task and be productive.
I believe each of these assumptions (italicized above) are false. My calendar should not predict my productivity—the love for the mission, my colleagues, and the people I serve should predict my productivity, as we see in 1 Peter 4:8-11. In this passage, it is clear the motivating factor is love.
I used to read each verse as a stand-alone in 1 Peter 4:8-11, unconnected to the first sentence. Now I realize reading them together is wise because the passage starts with the importance of love, and then talks about the activity of service. In this group of verses, there are several actions that could be productive. And each action more powerful when motivated by love.
- Offer hospitality
- Reduce grumbling
- Serve others
- Speak truth
- Serve through God’s strength
- Praise God
As you go through your workday, which one of these will you end up doing, and how can you show love through that productive action? Are you hosting a meeting? Are you connecting with a colleague who needs to be heard, or hear truth? Will you be in touch with a client who needs grace that may take more than your own strength to give?
Whatever you do, make sure it’s motivated by love and not a calendar.
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© 2021, Mollie Bond. All rights reserved. Originally published at www.molliebond.org.