1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NLT)
13 If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn�t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God�s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn�t love others, I would be nothing. 3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn�t love others, I would have gained nothing.
Here the apostle describes love in its fullest and most extensive meaning � true love to God and man. Note that while men may claim many gifts that without love there is nothing gained.
Tim Sanders, leadership coach and former Chief Solutions Officer at Yahoo! who urges managers and supervisors to let their subordinates know how much they appreciate them. Sanders advocates leading through loving in his book Love Is the Killer App, and from the platform of multiple leadership conferences. He often tells the story of a young manager named Steve, who was challenged by one of Sanders's radio interviews.
Steve resolved to visit each of his employees, all six of whom he had not seen face to face in over six months even though they worked in the same building and on the same floor. Steve wanted to tell each of them how much he appreciated them, and name one thing they did excellently.
After the visit from Steve, one of his software engineers, Lenny, presented him with an Xbox gaming console. Steve was taken aback, as he knew Lenny had taken pay cuts over the last year. But he was more surprised to learn that the money had come from the sale of a nine-millimeter pistol�a pistol Lenny had bought months earlier with the intention of killing himself. Lenny told him of his mother's death the previous year, and of his ensuing loneliness and depression:
I started a routine every night after work: eating a bowl of Ramen, listening to Nirvana, and getting the gun out. It took almost a month to get the courage to put the bullets in the gun. It took another couple of months to get used to the feeling of the barrel of the gun on the top of my teeth. For the last few weeks, I was putting ever so slight pressure on the trigger, and I was getting so close, Steve�so close.
Last week, you freaked me out. You came into my cubicle, put your arm around me, and told me you appreciated me because I turn in all my projects early, and that helps you sleep at night. You also said that I have a great sense of humor over e-mail and that you are glad I came into your life.
That night I went home, ate Ramen, and listened to Nirvana�and when I got the gun out, it scared me silly for the first time. All I could think about was what you said�that you were glad I came into your life.
The next day I went back to the pawnshop and sold the gun. I remembered that you had said you wanted the Xbox more than anything, but with a new baby at home could not afford it. So, for my life, you get this game. Thanks, boss.
"Sometimes people just need people," Sanders writes. "They need encouragement. You have no idea how lonely and sad some people might be. Love them everywhere�not just at home, but at work, or wherever you find them."