Two Fundamental Christian Leadership Commandments

To lead your business, church, or team effectively requires knowing and following two fundamental commandments. The commandments must be the foundation to your life and leadership. In Matthew 22, Jesus shares a story about a knowledgeable religious leader who tests him by asking, “which is the greatest commandments in the law?” Jesus’ response revels the two most important commandments a Christian can follow. He said,

You must love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest of the laws. The second is like it, ‘You must love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ All the Laws and the writings of the early preachers depend on these two most important Laws.

Loving God and other people must be at the center of our actions, mindset, and attitude. These things are above producing results, casting vision, striving for success, taking action, or any other noteworthy leadership task. How can a Christian leader keep these two commandments at the center of their life? Below are some suggestions:

Love God

To serve and love God requires that we place Him above our personal and leadership tasks or responsibilities. He should be the first and most important are of our life. This takes a daily choice to die to our self and sin nature while at the same time placing Him in the middle of everything we do. Begin each morning with a fresh commitment to serve and follow God with all your actions and  life.

Love people

The truth is that loving people becomes easier when we fully love God. When we follow and love God, He transforms our soul and heart into someone who cares and loves people on a deeper level. This allows us to better live with the Fruits of the Spirit: “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” ~Galatians 5: 22-23 Loving people while leading should reflect and be clothed with the above elements.

Questions: How do you show love to God and other people? What are some practical ways we can increase our love for God and other people?

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35 thoughts on “Two Fundamental Christian Leadership Commandments

  1. That boils it down to the most important things. Out of these two principles all leadership — and followership — should flow. In all my years I had one boss who actually exhibited both of these principles and he was outrageously successful.

  2. I think that in order to love God, we must first know Him. But in order to love people, we do not have to first know them. Do you agree?

    I was thinking about this concept myself just the other day, that all leadership could be condensed into treating people as you would want to be treated and how they would want to be treated. Everything else is secondary. Do you agree?

    • I agree that we need to know God in order to really love him. I think I see what you’re saying about other people. I think we can sacrifice and show an attitude of love towards people we don’t really know, on the other hand in marriage the better I know my spouse the better lover I can become!

  3. Great post, Dan! As I read through, I can’t help think “Seek ye first…” The beauty of a lot of these passages is that they flow from these two principles– loving God and loving people. Just like in business, when we focus our hearts on the greatest commandments, the rest will follow.

  4. As we stand before the cross, the vertical part is representative of our relationship with Him as the horizontal part of the cross is representative of our relationship with those around us. Showing the love to God and other people is as simple as approaching each with a spirit of friendship. A practical way to do this is to visit our local homeless shelters so that we can be those vessels God chooses to use to express His love through and to those around us. Hope this helps! God bless you!!!…:-)

    • Hello Micky,

      Great thoughts! Serving and helping at a homeless shelter or non-profit can defiantly help people while showing Gods love. Thanks for stopping by to share.

  5. Great call, Dan. It is about being a real part of caring in action of other people’s lives. Not building a relationship to get, but to know and care about others. In the end we get more in all ways than we ever could have otherwise… isn’t that how God always works? Like in Malachi which is the only place in scripture where God says, “Test Me.” Being intentional and obedient to love in action as God calls us to brings us more peace, joy, and prosperity, (from a Biblical definition of it), than we could conjure up, if at all, on our own…

    • Hello Floyd,

      It’s amazing what we get when we serve and truly help others. Malachi is a great book in the Bible! Love your wording, “love in action.” Great and powerful things happen when we do. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us.

  6. Right on Dan! I don’t think I could have said it better. This reminds me of how often the most important things in life are also the simplest!

  7. Loving God begins with the pretext of a question – Is what I am in engaged in bringing Him honor and glory.

    Loving people means that I put relationships before tasks. I value people because they are made in God’s image, not because there is something I can derive for personal gain.

  8. Currently studying Deuteronomy, and it has this same focus. I absolutely LOVE OT and NT connections, and your post goes so well with what I’m studying there. Check out Deuteronomy 6:4-9 to see what I mean. Exciting stuff! Love God and love for others will flow out of that. We won’t have to force it. We won’t have to figure out what to say or do. Love for God can and will drive everything we do if we give fully to it.

    • I’ll check that passage out, thank you for mentioning it. I also enjoy reading the connections between OT and NT. Thank you for taking the time to read and share.

  9. I love both of these commandments and love love what you say here “loving people becomes easier when we fully love God”. I’ve found that to be true. It’s hard to love others well or fully by by own strength. But when his love is shed abroad in my heart it helps me to embrace and accept others. Not that i am perfect but his grace has always been sufficient to step me up where i fail. Great truths Dan and great post!

  10. On these two hang all the law. Great stuff, Dan.

    For Christians, there is no “leadership” for today that lasts for eternity where there’s no love for God and people. These two are quite necessary.

    • So true, Charles. When we focus on those two area (Loving God and people) we lead more effectively and produce higher levels of results. Thank you for taking the time to read and share. It’s always good to hear from you.

  11. Dan – excellent post and reflections. I could say that loving people is as important if not moreso that loving God. Not saying God is any less important but God wants us to love our neighbors and following his commandment would please Him. Also, if people are all reflections and creations of God, loving them is just strenthening our relationship with God.

    To show God love, we can give Him our attention, time and prayer. To show people love, we can extend kindness, empathy and assistance without expectation of returns. Thanks for this post!

    • Hello Vishnu,

      I hear what your saying, both are important. From personal experience when I focus on loving God first then it’s easier to care about, add value, and love others (even those people who clash with our personality style or who we might normally not care about or love). Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.

  12. Nice post, Dan. I think we can love God and others more by paying less attention to ourselves and our own desires. You said when we love God more, we’ll love people more, but I think it can work the other way, too. If we love people more, we begin to love God more. They go hand in hand.

    • Glad you enjoyed the post Dan:) Great thoughts, I agree that it can work both ways. The key is to move our focus from “self” to God and people, or at least the majority of the focus:) Thank you for adding to the discussion.

  13. What gets me about love is this: it’s very description has great leadership qualities attached to it. “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”

    Who wouldn’t want to follow that kind of leader??

  14. Great post, Dan. It really boils down to love in these two related areas. It’s sometimes helpful to take a step back and address our habits and actions from the most foundational perspectives – so this really gives us something to think about.