“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them.
Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.
Love each other with genuine affection,
and take delight in honoring each other.”
– Romans 12:9-10
It was an amazing season for the Clemson Tigers going a perfect 15-0 and winning the 2018 National Championship against Alabama in convincing fashion. We got a brief glimpse of why Coach Dabo Swinney has had such great success, when he gave the glory to God in his post-game interviews. What happened two days later goes even deeper into the character of Coach Swinney and his genuine love for God and for others who have impacted his life. While center stage to receive the 2018 Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year Award, Coach Swinney called Woody McCorvey from the audience to join him. McCorvey was Swinney’s position coach and “father figure” at Alabama and they have been side by side at Clemson since Swinney became head coach in 2008. Coach Swinney recognized the career accomplishments of McCorvey and reminded the crowd that football is important. He went on to say, “It’s not just about the X’s and O’s, it’s about hearts and souls.” In a time of personal recognition, Coach Swinney chose to emphasize the importance of honoring and serving others. He gave us an example of genuine love.
The Bible talks a great deal about love. The Great Commandment tells us that we are to love God with all of our being and it also commands us to love others as much as we love ourselves. Let me tell you what you already know, that’s hard! It is so easy to fake our love. The Apostle Paul reminds us in Romans that we’re to “love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.” That’s a personal challenge for each of us to go deeper than the surface love we often share. Actions speak so much louder than words. To be a truly effective leader, we must learn to live out Paul’s words. WE will always be greater than ME. Servant leaders will always accomplish more than those who are in it for themselves.
Heavenly Father, teach me to love and honor others today. Help me to hold onto what is genuine and good. Amen.