When I was in high school or college, I was given a bumper sticker that said, “Choose Life, your mother did.” As I considered the words, I felt as though the message was too narrow. “Choose Life” is so much more than just an anti-abortion sentiment. I need to choose to bring Life into the lives of those around me. I need to shine Jesus where there is darkness, both out there in the world and especially where I find it here within myself.
Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. He is the key to your life. (Deuteronomy 30:19-20a, NLT)
When I have sinned, I need to choose to accept forgiveness. When I have hurt others, I need to choose to do whatever I can to bring healing and reconciliation. When I have been hurt, I need to forgive. That’s hard. Particularly that last one. I don’t want to forgive people when they hurt me. I want them to experience the same sort of hurt I have experienced because of their actions.
By myself, there is no way I can push past feelings of hurt to pray for people who have hurt me. I want what I see as justice, but You have called us to something greater than meting out an eye for an eye (Matthew 5:38-48).
Help me to truly recognize the immense blessings You have given me. Help me to understand the grace You have shown me. Let me open myself up to Your Spirit and be filled up with You so much that I move beyond my own selfish, petty sense of fair. May I show Your love, mercy, and grace, not just to those who bless me, but to everyone You bring into my life. Amen.