Rise and Choose

Photo by Vladislav Babienko on Unsplash

Each day we rise and choose. Nobody else chooses for us. It is our choice and our choice alone.

We choose joyfulness. We choose hopefulness. We choose gratefulness. We choose happiness. We choose love.

We choose anger. We choose rage. We choose frustration. We choose irritation. We choose hate.

It is our choice. Nobody can make us do anything.

Nobody can make us joyful. Nobody can make us hopeful. Nobody can make us grateful. Nobody can make us happy. Nobody can make us love.

We choose.

We choose how we will enter and see the world. The decision is ours. This is the beauty of being created in the image of God.

What will you choose today?

Each day we wake up and stand at a fork in the road. If we choose one path, the wide path, it leads to destruction. If we choose the other path, the narrow path, it leads to life. Every day, regardless of what we have chosen before and how many times we have chosen it, we can choose the other.

So often, we think of paradise and hell only as eternal destinies. The fact of the matter is that we experience them in the here and the now. Jesus pointed us to a way of living that was shaped and bounded by love. When we live that way, when we live to #LoveWell then we taste heaven right now. When we choose to live a different way, we taste hell right now.

When we choose the narrow way, it is filled with twists and turns and hills and bumps. The narrow way is loaded with opportunities to #LoveWell. The wide way is flat and open. There is little opportunity to #LoveWell. It grows within us a sense of privilege.

Too often we think of 1 Corinthians 13 as the “wedding” passage. It’s not. It’s a call to faithful living. It’s a call to live the narrow way. I challenge you to meditate on it today and ask, “Am I living the way of love?”

If I speak in tongues of human beings and of angels but I don’t have love, I’m a clanging gong or a clashing cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and I know all the mysteries and everything else, and if I have such complete faith that I can move mountains but I don’t have love, I’m nothing. If I give away everything that I have and hand over my own body to feel good about what I’ve done but I don’t have love, I receive no benefit whatsoever.

Love is patient, love is kind, it isn’t jealous, it doesn’t brag, it isn’t arrogant, it isn’t rude, it doesn’t seek its own advantage, it isn’t irritable, it doesn’t keep a record of complaints, it isn’t happy with injustice, but it is happy with the truth. Love puts up with all things, trusts in all things, hopes for all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. As for prophecies, they will be brought to an end. As for tongues, they will stop. As for knowledge, it will be brought to an end. We know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, what is partial will be brought to an end. When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, reason like a child, think like a child. But now that I have become a man, I’ve put an end to childish things. Now we see a reflection in a mirror; then we will see face-to-face. Now I know partially, but then I will know completely in the same way that I have been completely known. Now faith, hope, and love remain—these three things—and the greatest of these is love.