“You can get enough hate in a minute but you can’t get enough love in a lifetime.” I’ve used that phrase for the past 40 years and it has always had an impact. Different people respond to that phrase by stopping to think about it, agreeing, or by being surprised at its salient truth. Bottom line, people need to be loved and as Christian coaches, we have a capacity to love others that sets us apart.
“Love” may be the most used, (or overused), theme in the songs that are composed or the stories that are told. But where does “love” fit within our work as coaches? Do you love your clients? If you do, what does that mean? Do you love being a coach? What does that mean?
You may have heard it said, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Well, that sounds good but I’ve met a few people who truly knew what they wanted to do as work, or as a calling, and immediately loved what they did. Instead, they explored as an area of interest or potential and as they improved their knowledge and skills, they began to enjoy and even love their work. So, it is with coaching. For example, I’ve never met a high school student who said, “when I graduate, I’m going to get my training to be a coach and help others.” More often, coaching comes as a result of another path, journey, or a desire to do more to help others. As your skills as a Christian coach improve, you find new ways to enjoy how much you have the potential to help others. If you don’t already, over time you’ll love being a Christian coach because you are making a positive difference to help others while also promoting Christ.
What about loving the person you’re coaching? As an educator, I would tell my colleagues that loving your students is doing what is right – even when it did not seem nice. For example, you should not give a child a high grade they did not deserve because, in reality, that hurts them more than helps. At times love can seem hard. Loving a child is not giving them everything they want, but setting boundaries, teaching what is of value, and holding them accountable. As Christian coaches, we show that we love our clients by using direct communication or powerful questioning to help them discover what nobody else is telling them. Loving our clients might mean saying the things that need to be said, coaching for insights, or helping them live up to what they say they want to do.
Yet, the most important part of loving our clients is to love them with agape love. Agape is the love of God in ACTION. Agape’s love is selfless, sacrificial, and unconditional. It is the highest of the four types of love in the Bible. Agape is your decision as a Christian coach to put God’s love into action in your coaching. It is your purposeful decision to love someone and keep loving them with the love of God in your heart – sometimes until they learn to love themselves.
- 1 Corinthians 16:14 (KJV) – Let all that you do be done with love (agape).
- 1 John 4:8 (NIV) – Whoever does not love (agape) does not know God, because God is love (agape).
As Christian coaches we can and should frame our work with the love of God, but here is a small warning attached to that thinking. Most of the people in the world are so accustomed to fear motivation and hate that comes at them from all sides, that when you begin to love them, they may be suspicious, wary, and might even think that you’re manipulating them. Love always wins but for some of our clients, it will take some time to win them over. And when it’s the right thing to say, tell them that you love them. After all, if you’re praying for your clients, (and you know you should be doing that and letting them know), then you have to love them.
When you coach others with the love that God has put in you, you will perplex the world. Don’t give up when things don’t go the way you think they should go because God is never out of business and he is always ready to help you as you shed his love in your coaching. The love that God has for you – has no end and no limit – so you really should tap into that love so you can give it to others. The systems of the world are certainly pushing enough hate every minute – but the love of Christ in you is something that nobody ever gets enough.
- Romans 8:37 (NIV) – No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
Dr. Rich Weigel is an Executive and Leadership Coach working primarily in the educational arena. He has over 30 years of experience as an educational leader and is committed to helping educators throughout the world to transform their efforts, build greater personal capacity, and improve their industry for significant human development.