Choosing is the beginning of love
We all have people in our lives that frustrate us and it’s easy at times to feel like our interactions with those people are unfair. We may feel like they’re a burden, like we don’t deserve the things they say about us or do to us. We may feel like they’re unjustly rude or cruel. Maybe we just find certain people to be annoying or don’t feel like we could ever mesh with them. But if we accept that we are to be a representation of Christ to those around us, then we have to look to the example he set.
The testimony of scripture is that Jesus was sent because God loved us. Even though we (humanity) have continually rejected and despised him, he continues to choose us. God doesn’t look at us as problems, burdens or enemies that get in his way. We aren’t a have-to for God, we’re a want-to. And in the same way God chose us, we should choose each other.
When we choose people they go from a have-to in our life to a want-to. They aren’t happening to us, we’re happening to them. They aren’t a burden to us, we’re love to them. This is how we come to do good to those who hurt us; this is how we learn to love our enemies, we choose them.
Don’t surrender the power you’ve been given; life doesn’t have to “happen” to you. You can choose, you can love, you can be what’s happening.
This week, choose the difficult people in your life. Let them be want-tos instead of have-tos.
Here are a couple suggestions to get started choosing difficult people:
- Be honest with yourself. Who is a have-to in your life? Make a mental list of your have-tos and then commit to praying for them each day this week. Pray that God would help you choose them in every encounter you have this week.
- When you know you are going into a meeting with someone who is typically a have-to for you, take a moment to consciously choose them. Decide that you want to be in that moment with them. Decide you want them in your life. Decide that they are valuable to you.