Psychologists use many devices to measure a person's character and ability. One of these is called E.Q. which stands for Emotional Quotient. E.Q. is a term that describes a person's ability to cope or deal emotionally with various factors in our lives — work, relationships, struggles, etc. The idea is that our emotional make-up, how we react emotionally to all the different situations in life, determines how successful we will be, and scientists have found a way to measure and analyze this in people. The point being made is that our E.Q. is a more accurate guide in deciding our potential success in life than the traditional I.Q. (Intelligence Quotient) tests that many of us took in school. I believe both these measuring devices are incomplete in predicting potential success and happiness.
In Galatians 5:13-14, Paul describes a more basic test to see if one will succeed, it's called the L.Q. test. L.Q. stands for Love Quotient.
13For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
Jesus had made this point in John's gospel where He said,
By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
- John 13:35
Jesus was making the point that it wasn't our I.Q. or our E.Q. that determined our identity as His disciples, it was our L.Q. that served as a barometer for our Christian faith. John, often called the Apostle of love because he wrote so extensively about its importance in Christian living, explained why it was so important to work on our L.Q. as Christians.
In the world, we might succeed if our intelligence quotient is high, we might adapt more easily and avoid failure if we were wired right emotionally, but the Bible argues that in order to live and succeed in the Kingdom, in the church and in the spiritual world, you have to have a high L.Q.
What L.Q. Proves
A high I.Q. shows that you have a well-formed, well-informed, well-functioning mind. A high E.Q. shows that you have a balanced character and effective set of coping skills and good self-esteem. In the same way, a high L.Q. also says several important things about you:
1. Your Faith is Sincere
As I said before, Jesus claimed that the love of the brethren was a clear indicator that a person was a true disciple. He didn't say it was the only indicator, but that without the love of the brethren it would be difficult to prove one's love for the Lord. After all, if you don't love and serve the people that Jesus died for, how can you claim to love the Lord and be His disciple?
James says that faith without works is dead. James is saying what Paul said in Galatians 5: 6, that faith works through love.
We often explain that true faith is expressed in obedience and this is true because throughout the Bible we see this pattern over and over again. A person believes and because he believes he obeys God. But this is not the only expression of faith. Faith also is expressed in love as well.
A person believes and because he believes he loves his Lord, (and that love is expressed in obedience) he loves those in need (expressed in service). He loves his enemy (expressed in forgiveness).
- Faith is an invisible thing. We can't see or touch the act of will that accepts as true what God says.
- Faith only becomes visible when it takes on a tangible form in love of some kind. This is how God revealed Himself an invisible being to physical man. He sent Jesus in human form to die for us — A very visible expression of His invisible self.
…L.Q. also demonstrates…
2. The Condition of Our Heart
Just as I.Q. and E.Q.'s measure the condition of one's intelligence and emotions, L.Q. measures the condition of one's faith and the condition of one's heart. There's a relationship between how one loves and how one feels. In I John 4:16-21, John explains four reasons why a person who loves also feels good:
…High L./Q. feels good because…
A. Love Draws Us Near to God
Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.
- James 4:8
The surest way to draw near to God is to love as He loves. Being near to God feels good, it produces joy and peace and confidence. Remaining in this blessed state requires that we stay close to God and the only way to do that is to increase our love quotient.
…A High L.Q….
B. Removes Fear
John says that for those who love there is no fear of death, condemnation or punishment. Why? What's the connection? Loving is a spiritual thing, it's acting out of one's spiritual nature. The more one loves, the more one is following the Spirit, the more one follows the Spirit, the more one is aware of and has confidence in the Kingdom of God and His grace.
Love opens one's eyes to see the spiritual world, opens one's heart to the work of the Holy Spirit, opens one's hope to the reality of heaven and the temporariness of this earth. People who love do not have fear in their hearts because God has filled their hearts with His love.
…A High Love Quotient…
C. Produces Gratitude – vs. 19
We didn't begin with loving hearts, we began with usual L.Q. — love of family, friends, love of pleasure and perhaps love of country and high ideals. But Jesus' love produces a new kind of love — love of God. And this love of God produces the beautiful spiritual fruit of gratitude. Because He first loved us, we are filled with praise and thanksgiving; filled with a desire to do what is right and good in His name.
A grateful heart is a contented heart, a contented heart is one that has stopped worrying and striving with the world around it.
…A High L.Q….
D. Guides My Life – vs. 20-21
The condition of your heart will dictate what you say and do.
For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.
- Matthew 12:34
If my heart is filled with love, it is no effort, no "work" to love my brother and sister. It is simply an extension of my natural personality, my L.Q. working for you. And loving others brings others love back to me in a blessed cycle of fellowship and blessing. People say, "What goes around, comes around," and for people with a high L.Q., what goes around is love, what comes around is more love.
People who don't feel good about themselves, people who seem to go from one conflict to another, need to check their own personal love quotient before finding fault with their partners, their family or their surroundings.
More love will usually heal and build one up and make life much more enjoyable, but it usually starts with me increasing my love quotient, not everybody loving me more.
So, L.Q. determines:
- The sincerity of my faith
- The condition of my heart
…and one last thing…
3. God's Attitude Towards Me
L.Q. not only determines what kind of faith I have and how I feel, L.Q. also determines how God feels about me as well.
In Matthew 25, Jesus describes the scene at the end of the world where the great judgement will take place and He explains that the determining factor separating these who will spend eternity with Him in heaven and those who will be cast into hell, will be the Love Quotient displayed by each while here on earth.
To feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick and imprisoned, care for orphans and widows — are these not simply expressions of one's love in the name of Jesus? And yet God says that these acts will clearly divide those who have a high L.Q. from those who merely love themselves, or those who love them back or love the pleasures and distractions of this world.
In the end, God will not measure how smart we were, or how well we were able to cope in this world; He will be looking for those who loved His Son Jesus Christ and showed their love by serving others in His name.
I wonder sometimes if I'm too hard on you as a preacher. If I preach too often in ways that demand that you devote yourselves more to God and the church.
I worry that you may grow weary of hearing, preferring happier themes, easier lessons.
But then someone dies, or someone is gravely ill and invariably the family's first concern is for the safety of that person's soul.
All I can say to you is that the pleasure of sin is short-lived and the excitement of your toys and hobbies will lose their luster one day — but the knowledge of God, the presence of Christ, the comfort of the Holy Spirit never grow old, never disappoint.
The only sure way to guarantee your salvation and eternal life is by:
- Believing and confessing Jesus
- Turning away from sin and your attachment to the world
- Being baptized for the remission of your sins
- Living a faithful and fruitful life building your Love Quotient in Jesus' name.
- Renounce the world; give up the old man; let God fill your heart with a full measure of His love in Christ by coming forward:
- To be saved
- To be restored
- To be identified with the church
- Maybe just to help you increase your love quotient
Come now, whatever you need.