“Bravery is the audacity to be unhindered by failures, and to walk with freedom, strength, and hope in the face of things unknown.” Morgan Harper Nicholas.
Recently, I had the chance to take a free Christian online course by the name of Brave Love. Some of you may be familiar with the organization, but for those of you who aren’t, it’s a movement designed to empower women into the fullness of what Christ is calling us to on this earth. Choosing to live intentionally, as a move of God within our cities and communities. However, when I first heard of this organization, one of the first things that stood out to me was the name. ‘Brave’ Love.
Because most of us, if we’re honest, don’t immediately associate love with bravery. We associate it with meekness and mildness. We associate it with gentleness and sensitivity. But bravery? Not so much.
The truth is, most of us even as Christians, are quick to associate love with the form of love seen in movies like Sleepless In Seattle or The Vow. However, if we’re looking at love through the lens of Jesus, love is so much more. And, it is in fact, a call to be brave.
For the Christian, brave love looks like going up to a barista at Starbucks, or a cashier, and letting them know that God loves them—allowing them to hear the truth about God for possibly, the first time in their life.
For the Christian, brave love looks like being there for someone who’s struggling, and entering into their world—cracks and all, rather than allowing fear and apathy to have the final say.
For the Christian, brave love looks like praying for a parent with an addiction and believing God’s love will win out in their life, even when the situation looks absolutely hopeless.
For the Christian, brave love looks like choosing to wait to date when seemingly every person around you has a boyfriend/girlfriend because you want to date intentionally and wait for the person who’s everything that God has for you.
John talks about this very matter in 1 John 4:16-18 (MSG), when he says,
“God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.”
Love is not a gendered word. Men are not ‘just’ called to bravery, and women are not ‘just’ called to love—both men and women, created in the image of God are called to brave love, which is a call to reject apathy. People will forever argue, debate, and philosophize about what true life—lived in its fullest capacity looks like. But if we look to the Bible, and if we look to Jesus, we were put on this earth for two purposes—to love God and love people. Everything after that is secondary.
When people look at me, I don’t want them to just see the girl with glasses who writes stuff. I don’t want people to look at me and define by my talents, appearance, titles, or Instagram feed. When people look at me, I want them to see Jesus in me. I want them to see His Holy Spirit at work in my life. When people look at me, and when I look back on my life, I want people to be able to say about me what was said about King David in 1 Samuel 13:14 and Acts 13:22. That I lived my life as a [girl] after God’s own heart.
This week, I want to challenge you to take the steps towards a brave kind of love in your own life. To dare to live wholeheartedly for the Gospel and to dare to love people like Jesus. I want to challenge you to see love as something that is, truly brave. And I want to challenge you to live out that bravery in the context of your very real, very present, day-to-day life.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” – Philipians 4:8 (NIV).
“So then, prepare your hearts and minds for action![a] Stay alert and fix your hope firmly on the marvelous grace that is coming to you. For when Jesus Christ is unveiled,[b] a greater measure of grace will be released to you.” 1 Peter 1:13 (TPT).