Posts Tagged ‘Choice’

I have a friend who is doing the 40-day love challenge, which is based off of the movie “Fireproof”. Today’s posting was about love being a choice. It says:

“Love is Faithful (Hosea 2:20). Love is a choice, not a feeling. It is an initiated action, not a knee-jerk reaction. Choose today to be committed to love even if your spouse has lost most of their interest in receiving it. Say to them today in words similar to these, ‘I love you. Period. I choose to love you even if you don’t love me in return.’” (The Love Dare by Stephen and Alex Kendrick)

I really like this definition of what love is. It’s a choice. And the great thing about it is, while this is written specifically for married couples, this principle applies in any relationship, whether it’s with a friend, colleague, child, or even an enemy. Love is a choice. It means, even if I don’t particularly like someone, I still treat them well. It means, even when my child says she hates me, I tell her “I love you” in return.

When I look at love as a choice rather than a feeling, it puts a whole new perspective on things. Feelings are not something you can really control. Feelings can change. Feelings lie. But, when I make a choice to show love, I am doing that whether I feel like loving or not. I do it whether I like someone or not. Love is a choice.  1 John 4:7&8 says,

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (NASB).

We are commanded to love one another. God’s Word doesn’t say love each other if you feel like loving each other. It doesn’t say love each other if they treat you well. It says love one another. Why? Because God loves us. This verse is specifically talking to Christians loving each other, but what about those who are not considered brothers and sisters in Christ? What about those who are doing things that God’s Word indicates are wrong? What does God say about that? Are we to hate them? Are we to be vindictive?

I think most of us would know that the answer to those questions is “no.” We’re not to hate them. In fact in Matthew 5, Jesus says,

“You have heard that it was said, ‘ You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?” (vss 43-46, NASB)

In a parallel passage in Luke 6, Jesus says,

“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” (vss 27-36, NASB)

We are not only commanded to love those who are lovable, but to love those who are easy to hate – those who hurt us and use us. That’s so hard. My first instinct is not to show people like that love. But we are commanded to love. So, love is a choice. I can choose to be kind, or I can choose to be unkind. I can choose to react out of anger, or I can choose to calmly respond with kindness. I can love or I can hate. Today, I choose love.

Your turn! What is your opinion about love? Is it a choice or is it something you have no control over?  How do you show love when others are not?  I would love to hear from you!

~Until Next Time,

Karen Signature

 

Photo by Wolfgang Moritzer

Photo by Wolfgang Moritzer

“This is the day which the LORD has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” – Psalm 118:24 (NASB)

As I was going for my morning run today, I was praying for God to give me a message – to show me something that I could think on and share. I do this often because I don’t want this to be about me and my accomplishments, so much as I want to point the glory to my Everlasting Father, who is the one who gives me the strength, knowledge and ability to do the things I do. But sometimes, I find myself losing sight of the fact that He is the one in control, and I try to manage everything on my own. When that happens, things tend to fall apart because I am relying on my own strength instead of His. And then, I complain about the things that go wrong or fall outside of my control. So, as I was running this morning, the verse above came to mind. At first, I didn’t quite understand why it was so important, but as I ran and thought on it, it became more clear to me.

See, today was not a pretty day outside. It was gloomy, cloudy and windy – not really a morning one would call beautiful. But, as I meditated on that verse, I realized something. A day is not beautiful just because it’s sunny and warm. It is beautiful because God made it. I noticed what this verse did not say. It did not say, “Rejoice in the sunny days.” Nor did it say, “Rejoice in the day because everything is right.” No, instead it says, “Let’s rejoice and be glad in this day.” Why? Because “the LORD has made it.” That brought a whole new perspective to me.

If you look into the context of this verse, the Psalmist talks about the Lord’s loving-kindness and deliverance from the enemies that surrounded him. The situation that he found himself in was not the best of circumstances, but instead of whining and moaning that things were not going his way, he chose to say, “I will rejoice in this day that the Lord has made.” And that made me think. Every day, I have a choice. I can choose to whine and complain about the events and circumstances I find myself in. Or, I can choose to realize I am in those circumstances, but trust in the Lord’s ability to handle the situations I find myself in – and rejoice in the fact that I know He will deliver me.

Paul told the Philippians to, “Rejoice in the Lord always” (Philippians 4:4a NASB). In fact, he found it so important that he repeated himself, saying, “again, I will say, rejoice!” He doesn’t say rejoice only when things are good. He says rejoice always. And that is hard because my natural tendency is to complain about how things don’t go my way. But, I believe that if I choose to rejoice even when things don’t go my way, I will have a different outlook on things. Life is going to bring trouble, trials and sadness. And it’s OK to grieve and even be down, but in the end, I have to decide, am I going to trust that God is in control and rejoice in the day He has given me, or am I going to dwell on all that has gone wrong, and whine, moan and complain?

I don’t want to be that girl who whines and moans and complains. I want to be the woman who trusts God enough to know that He has my life in His hands, and that no matter what happens, He has the ability to turn it all for good (see Romans 8:28). So, along with the Psalmist, today I say, “This is the day the Lord has made, I WILL rejoice and be glad in it!”

What about you? Do you, like me, have a tendency to whine and complain about your circumstances? Or are you the type of person who rejoices in the day that you have been given? What helps you to remember to rejoice when things seem to be going all wrong?

~Until Next Time,

Karen Signature