Let Love Be the Tiebreaker

Should we rank our values? Typically our noble virtues don’t clash.

But when they do? Let love be the tiebreaker.

First Intentional Act

On the first night after our little grandson was born, Jeff and I had dog duty at his house. We’d promised Jenna and Trey that we’d feed their dogs while they were at the hospital.

We walk into little Henry’s nursery. Everything looks beautiful. Even though he came three weeks early, Jenna is mostly prepared.

But one thing is out of order.

I see it on the carpet. It isn’t supposed to be there.

A spider.

It isn’t a big hairy one or a scary long-legged one. But nonetheless, a spider in a baby’s room is anathema.

I ask Jeff to kill it. He does.

It is our first act of intentional care for our grandson.

Which Value Is Greatest?

Sometimes the things we do for others are small in the grand scheme of things. Actually, most are small. Cook a meal. Send a text. Feed the dogs.

But small things are important things.

Every act of love is important. Size? No matter.

When Henry grows up, he’ll be faced with choosing his own values:

  • How should I treat my neighbors?
  • How can I help my friends?
  • How do I care for my family (especially Granna! lol)?

Loving others will always be the best answer, whatever the question. Loving other people is our divine calling. Loving other people is how we love God. Love is walking on holy ground.

Of the many values we hope our grandbaby Henry will learn (excellence, freedom, loyalty, fairness, humility, community, faith, hope, love, …) the greatest of these will be love.

And in those rare occasions when one virtue comes at the expense of another virtue (should you choose sacrifice over freedom? community over independence?), and he has to choose, I hope he’ll choose love as the tiebreaker. Love as the most important. Every time. Over everything. Even among faith and hope, choose love (1 Corinthians 13:13).

Love. It is indeed the greatest of these.

Even when it’s only killing a tiny spider in a baby’s room before he ever makes it home.


When have you sacrificed freedom for love, pleasure for love, success for love, somewhere along the way? Please share in the comments.

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10 thoughts on “Let Love Be the Tiebreaker

  1. blankLynn D. Morrissey

    Wow, Lisa. T his is a short post, but a potent one. Choose love. Why? Because God tells us to, and He emphasizes that yes, “the greatest of these is love.” Greatest of what? Here it is, and knowing you, I don’t think you’ll mind if I repeat it here from I Cor. 13:
    “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.”
    But what *is* love? That’s the million-dollar question. Yet, God immediately gives us the answer in the rest of that chapter:
    “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
    And surely love is the greatest attribute because God tells us to love Him with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, AND to love our neighbors as ourselves. I don’t see a whole lot of love today. I’m trying to love both my neighbor and my enemy. It’s hard. I fail a lot. I’m asking for God’s help. I think a lot of Christians are failing, too, frankly. I hear a lot of noisy gonging going around. I don’t sense a lot of patience and kindness. I see a ton of anger and self-seeking and boasting about (so-called) individual rights in a pandemic, as an example, when people are dying. I see a lot of self-seeking what *I* want to the harm of what *you* want. I see a ton of dishonoring our neighbors and church and political leaders whom we don’t like or w/ whom we don’t agree. Most horrible of all, I see many Christians (who claim to be) rejoicing even in evil and disregarding truth, BIG TIME. I think that’s the worst. I have never been in such lament as a Christian at any other time in my life. And it grieves me that I am lamenting over Christians themselves and their lack of love…. love for their neighbor, especially. You are so right, Lisa. We need to love more. We need to God and our neighbors more. And we need to love ourselves a whole lot less. That takes self-control and tons of self-sacrifice, but it’s the only decent, virtuous thing to do.
    Thanks for the reminder!
    Lynn

  2. blankLisa Jordan

    There are times when choosing to love is tough, but it’s what God commands us to do. Love Him. Love others. If we do those two, then everything else will fall into place. Thank you for a beautiful post.

  3. blankJoanne Viola

    Lisa, I so appreciated this post because these thoughts have been in my own mind for some time. In a world that is so divided, may we choose to bridge the gap with love. And may it be what we are remembered for long after these days have passed!

  4. blankJean Wise

    Good words Lisa! Often I ask myself – what is the most loving thing I can do right now? That leads me to God’s road and keeps me our of trouble.

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