Deuteronomy 30:15,19 (New Living Translation)
“Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster….Oh, that you would choose life.”
Choosing life means surrendering our hearts and minds to God’s loving authority. Choosing death means leaving God out of our lives so we can go our own way.
When it comes to relationships, we choose life when we seek out others who will honor and support our walk with God. Life-nurturing companions respect our desire to learn God’s ways and obey his laws. They may pray with us, affirm and encourage our giftedness, and even lovingly confront us when we stray from God’s chosen paths. In sharp contrast are relationships that lead us into death and disaster. Life-diminishing companions compel us to hide our faith and discourage our desire to serve God. They shame our dependence on God and offer us other gods and idols to follow after.
Conflict is less likely to destroy a God-honoring relationship because both sides are willing to consider love and forgiveness as healing solutions. Relationships that dismiss God, on the other hand, are more vulnerable to conflict because each party is driven to self-protect. In life-diminishing relationships, conflict tends to expose hidden fears, damage pride, and trigger angry, defensive behaviors or sullen withdrawals that leave little room for love and conciliatory efforts.
FATHER, I choose to life! Grant me life-nurturing companions who will honor you and encourage me to mature in my faith. When conflicts arise, show me the source of the problem and help me to choose love and forgiveness as healing solutions. In my relationships with people who don’t know you, shine your love through me and shield me from all that would tempt me away from friendship with you.
Psalm 1:1-3; Romans 8:6
Which of your relationships affirm your choice for life over death? What makes them distinctive?