I see so many choices made by people that don’t make sense, at least to me. The choice by some to riot and destroy things in Baltimore. The choice to hate others or self. The choice to hurt someone.
Then there are those who believe they do not have a choice. These folks are victims of their emotions, or victims of their circumstances. I was in a discussion with a student this week who asked, “Don’t they (another student) make you mad?”
I responded “No.” My reasoning is that if someone can “make” me angry, then I have given them control over me. I choose not to let that happen. I said, “To be angry is a choice.” Wow, did that get some negative feedback. I can understand why some would say that. It can feel like we are at the mercy of our emotions.
But there are always choices we can make. Our maturity, especially our maturity in Christ, gives us the ability to make those choices. As we grow in our relationship with Christ, we begin to think like Jesus would have us think. That’s Romans 12:2 – our minds being transformed. That means that our choices start looking more like decisions Christ would make.
Sure, anger would still be a choice – but a choice to be angry for the right reasons. Human trafficking is a good reason for anger. Terrorists beheading Christians is a good reason for anger. The person ahead of you in the “20 Items or less” line with 24 items – not a good reason for anger.
Love is also a choice. We choose who we love, and who we don’t love. The closer we become to Jesus, the more we love as He loves. We should get to the point when our automatic response is to love everyone we meet. Carl Rogers, the pioneering psychologist, called it “unconditional positive regard.” The Bible calls it loving others as God has loved us.
So, let’s make some good choices! Choose to love, rather than hate. Choose to care rather than dismiss. Choose to accept rather than judge. Choose to look at every person, family, community and nation through the eyes of Jesus (at least, as much as possible).