Loving people is not easy. When I reflect on what it really means to love, I don’t think theories, I think people. I think upon the sacrifices of Mother Teresa, the selfless dedication of Martin Luther King Jr., the willingness of Abraham Lincoln, and the boldness of Jesus of Nazareth.
If anyone knew how to love people who weren’t likable, it was these people. It’s almost as if they were born with some radical ability in their hearts, that somehow, skipped the hearts of the rest of us. The ability to help the co-worker who drives us crazy, to build a friendship with the neighbor who parties too loud, to grab a beer with the relative who votes differently than us, or to speak well about the boss who makes our life miserable.
Love is a choice as much as it is a feeling or a decision. It makes me think of the quote:
Love is a Verb. Without Action, it’s Merely a Word
What if love was less about emotion and more about discipline? What if love had less to do with feeling and more about willingness? What if you could showcase love with little more than a mind of readiness and a heart of openness? Below are 5 simple ways I’ve seen incredible leaders turn love into action.
5 Simple Ways to Turn Love into Action
- They kill judgement, even if it’s ugly – At the end of the day, we can only control ourselves. We all have flaws, we all have brokenness, we all fall short of perfect. Let’s be people who extend grace and enable those around us to feel the power of acceptance – no matter where they are weak.
- They forgive, even if they’re not sorry -Beyond grace, people need forgiveness. In a world a of unresolved conflict, shame and deep seated pain, a powerful gesture of love is the extension of forgiveness. Whether it’s small or large, let it go, and witness the overwhelming power of love unfold before your eyes.
- They affirm, even if they don’t agree – As our friends and family share their hopes and dreams, lets be people who strengthen their vision by empowering them with loving affirmations. From shared excitement to words of encouragement, this simple detail can change someone’s world.
- They use their ears, even if it’s boring - To offer a fellow human the opportunity to share their heart in the form of a long-winded conversation has more power than we will ever know. Having an ear to hear can often times deliver a much needed moment of clarity or even the catalyst to overdue healing.
- They defend, even if it’s tough - We must remember people are still people. We are fragile, weak, and in desperate need of acceptance and community. While the rest of the world tears down people who may be ugly to “cultures” standards, let’s vow to stand for the weak, the broken, and the ugly, even if it’s tough.
How have you put love into action? Let me know in the comments below.