Choose Love| By Jasmine Beard

Five hours into my family vacation, I had parked the car, got out of the driver’s seat, and flung myself into the backseat with my arms folded.

Traveling with family is never an easy feat. However, add three frustrated and confused adults to the mix and it makes for quite the ordeal. 

We were already tense due to some arguing earlier that morning between my mother and I.

As I sat in the backseat and begged for someone else to take the wheel, my mom fussed, and my dad complained.

None of our attitudes were helping the situation.

We were all tired, lost, hot, and, did I mention, hangry?!

This is not what I had in mind when I planned this trip two months ago. I knew the vacation would be taxing, but I did not expect conflict so soon into the trip.

Sometimes, when we experience conflict with a loved one, we tend to blame the Devil.

“Ugh, that stupid devil is trying to bring division in our family.”

Maybe you have thought that before and that is very true, but as Christians we are still accountable for our actions.

“…remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For the Scriptures say,  ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will declare allegiance to God.’ Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God.” Romans 14:10-14 (NLT)

Before the time of creation, humans were created to be relational. We all have a deep desire to be loved and to be known. Paired with that desire, we long to know others intimately.

Unlike some relationships, we cannot choose who our parents are or who our siblings are. Whether we have chosen them or they have chosen us, relationships take work, sacrifice, and an abundance of love.

Throughout my vacation with my family, I was reminded that love is a choice. Did I feel like swallowing my pride and getting back into the driver’s seat? No, but I did because I chose to show love where others had not.

Through this venture, I was also reminded that love is sacrifice. On our 4-day excursion, I did nothing I planned to do on vacation, and everything my parents desired. All because I love them.

Sometimes you feel love, and it is like you are dancing on a cloud of daisies. You are enjoying every moment of serving and loving the other person. Other times, you do not feel love at all.

I may have sacrificed a lot on my family vacation and showed grace, but it is because I know someone who chooses to love me no matter my behavior or whether I reciprocate His love.

His name is Jesus and He is the very essence of what love is.

{Jesus} is patient and kind. 

{Jesus} is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.

{Jesus} does not demand its own way.

{Jesus}  not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 

{Jesus}  does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 

{Jesus} never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love verses 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NLT)

If we take the word love and abandon all that we know from the world’s definition of the word, we find that love is God because God is love. As a believer, the Holy Spirit dwells inside of us, and the essence and embodiment of love is a part of our DNA.

How cool is that?!

Are you having trouble showing love today?

Is it because you do not feel it? Or because the other person does not deserve it?

I want to encourage you today to let go of all records of wrongs and choose to love.

Choose to love your mom.

Choose to love that father that abandoned you.

Choose to love your siblings who maybe never call you.

Choose to love your spouse even when they have an attitude.

And most importantly, choose to love yourself.

“‘Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?’ Jesus replied, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:36-40 (NLT)