Romans 12:15-18 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
I was in the store the other day, donned with my mask, to get a few essentials. As I was gathering my items, I made my way to the line where tape was set out to regulate proper social distancing. As I was in line a couple was talking, “Do we need toilet paper?” “No,” came the answer, but the one who asked said something very interesting. “I don’t think so either, but I think we should get some. It makes me feel like we are better prepared.” The other replied they felt they were prepared, but the one who wanted the toilet paper looked the other straight in the eye and said, “I know, but choosing to get toilet paper helps me feel like I’m in control of at least something.” Wow, I get that. I know a few weeks ago when all the craziness of all the new restrictions due to the Coronavirus, COVID-19 came about, I felt out of control. Maybe you did too. We have been limited and controlled in our shopping, scheduling, how we work, if we work, how school is done, what entertainment we can take in, how church is done, and as I write this, even some public parks and beaches are closed or limited. It’s easy to feel out of control. The schedules, routines, and ways we related to others have all been changed and we are gasping for what we can control.
In all this let me suggest that our power of choice is our control. We have the power to choose our attitude, our responses, and how we will treat others.
Colossians 3:14 And above all these, put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
Just like the choice of what clothes we put on, we can choose to put on love as an attitude, a response, and as an action.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.
We can choose to be kind and gracious to others.
Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Colossians 3:12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.
Sure, we have lost a bit of control with life these days, but our choices are something we can control. Yes, there are a lot of moments and circumstances that are frustrating, that bring on anxiety, hurt, and maybe even anger, and we need to talk those out. Yet, in all this we can choose to take control in our attitudes, responses, and actions.
It is looking like we will be dealing with more controlling factors over these next few months. What kind of an attitude will you choose? What kind of responses will you choose? What kind of actions will you choose?
Church can be a great place to learn how to make good choices. If you don’t already have an online Sunday church gathering or would like to try ours, we would like to invite you to Neighborhood Church/Cypress Church (same church, same heart, just a new name). We have three campuses; our website has all the information you would need. Every Sunday we learn from the Bible and seek to know God more, and pray. Here is the link to our live-streaming services (see live.neighborhoodchurch.com) As well, if you would like to view any of our past worship gatherings visit our YouTube channel.
This world needs people like you making the good choices of love and kindness. Why not extend that power of choice today?