I remember three years ago when the idea for Be Love Revolution first came into clearer focus and we decided to run with it, to rally young women around it, to brand it, to “make it a real thing.” But like many things we talk about a lot, the concept of what it means to “Be Love” can become common place; yawn, “I’ve heard this a thousand times before”, like a cheap slogan, a trite saying, or a cute Instagram.
So as we dive headlong into 2017, it’s time to refresh our understanding of what it means to “Be Love” and not just go through the motions. We need to realize that loving is a serious business—a command, a call from the One who is Love, to actually, in a revolutionary way, make a difference in the world. If we look to Jesus as our standard for love, there are thousands of ways we can learn to “Be Love” in our daily lives. Here are a few, and I’ve added Scripture quotes so you know that these are Jesus’ ideas, not mine!
Don’t just talk about love, do it!
“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth”
(I Jn 3:18). There’s an old saying: “Talk is cheap.” In BLR we are going to keep talking and writing about Love, and posting inspiring quotes on social media, but it can’t stop there. The intention is not to just make us feel good, but to inspire and challenge us into daily acts of love for God and one another.
Start comparing yourself to Christ.
“Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another” (John 13:34). Love isn’t a vague notion or a warm feeling, it is the concrete act of self sacrifice that Christ Himself modeled for us when he climbed upon the cross, spread his arms wide and died so that we could live. While none of us are likely to be crucified, there are plenty of ways that we can learn to imitate Christ’s love. We can put aside our own preferences and pay attention to what someone else wants or needs—even if it’s boring, silly, or time consuming. We can choose to have less—whether it’s food, material possessions, time, or sleep—so others who need it more, can know they are loved and valued. We can stop asking ourselves, “What would the Kardashians or the Bachelorette or the coolest girl in my school do?” and start asking, “What would Jesus do?” And then go do it!
Love deeply, no matter what.
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins” (I Peter 4:8). Jesus loves us so deeply that He is able to see beyond our sins. He doesn’t make excuses for us, or pretend we haven’t messed up, but He loves us no matter what. We can actually learn with God’s help, to love others this deeply. We can stop judging (not our job), and love others, even when they make mistakes. And when those mistakes affect us, we can love by practicing forgiveness. On our own strength this is impossible, but when we do it with God’s help, this becomes the most powerful form of love.
Seek to serve.
“…The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve…”(Mt 20:28) Many of us just ended Christmas break—two weeks to a month off school to hang out with friends, watch television, relax at home, and maybe someone else (like your mom?) has been serving you. Let’s practice serving others in all times and seasons of our lives—even when we’re tired, busy, and stressed. When you come into a situation, whether at home, school, or work, seek to serve others, even in small ways.
“(His) love is patient and kind; it’s not envious, boastful, arrogant, or rude. (His) love is not irritable or resentful, does not insist on its own selfish way, rejoices only in the truth, and bears all things (1 Cor. 13:4–7). In case you run out of ideas for what it means to truly love, this passage provides a reminder for all the ways our love doesn’t yet look like His, and how we can grow in love.
So let’s get back to this divine business of loving because it’s only by loving as He loved us, in a revolutionary way, that the world will come to know Him.
But first, stop what you're doing right now, and take a minute to turn your heart to God. Ask Him to increase your capacity to love, and to fill you with His deep, burning love for others. And then, "Go Be Love!"
How are you choosing to "Be Love" in your daily life? Let us know by commenting below so we can be revolutionaries for Love together!
Image via Melanie Reyes Photography