Sadness crept in and weighed heavy on my heart while I listened to my friend’s story. A couple left their 3-month-old baby in the care of a friend so they could go out to dinner. While they were out, they got a phone call from the sitter who said she had dropped the baby. The parents rushed to the hospital where they were met by a doctor who informed them that their baby had suffered a severe skull fracture big enough it should’ve killed him. The doctor made it clear that a fracture so severe could not have been caused by a drop.
My mind swirled with unanswered questions. “What would cause a person to react so severely?”…”How could someone harm an innocent baby?”…
My friend’s next words sunk deep within me…,
“Every day we make a choice not to lose it.”
These words give gravity to the choices we face everyday. Choices that are so common and frequent that we don’t even realize we make them. If we’re honest, some of us might realize that we’ve unintentionally relinquished our power to choose how we respond to life. In our powerlessness, we have become subject to subconscious emotional reactions or, even worse, slaves to emotional numbness.
Every day we make choices.
to ignore or to listen,
to dismiss or to engage,
to criticize or to affirm,
to manipulate or to respect,
to hurt or to heal,
to hoard or to give,
to complain or to thank,
to fear or to trust,
to harm or to protect.
Everyday our choices have the potential to significantly impact the lives of those around us. Our choices either show God’s love or they don’t.
It’s our responsibility to stop thoughtlessly reacting and, instead, start intentionally choosing to pursue love, joy, peace, forgiveness, and grace. We must take back the power to choose. We must choose a new way.
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.'”
Reflect on this…
None of us gets it right all the time. Only one man did – Jesus. But what do the majority of your words and actions towards others reflect? Worry? Bitterness? Pride? God’s Love?
Is there a particular situation or person in your life where you struggle to reflect God’s love? Ask God to help you see the person through His eyes. Ask Him to help you love the person the way that He loves the person. Before every encounter pray to be a reflection of His love.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
1 Corinthians 13: 4-7
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