I’ve been Lutheran for the summer and this devotion, written by Dr. Gregory Seltz, really spoke to me. We can choose to lift each other up or put each other down. Putting others down is a form of choosing death and is a sin against God. I am choosing life – which means I need to be careful about how I talk and careful about what I do (sometimes very difficult). If you want to read the whole thing, or read other things Dr. Seltz has written, here is the link.
Moses said, “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving Yahweh your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life ….” Deuteronomy 30:19-20a
So many in our world today have not only lost their way, they are racing towards the bottom of morality, civility, and just being a human being, for crying out loud. I realize we are all sinners and, as Jesus says, only those without sin have the right to cast stones at each other (see John 8:7). But the Bible never says that just because we’re all sinners who can only be saved by grace, that proudly sinning and proudly unleashing debauchery, like it’s no big deal. In fact, we should strive to be better, to do better, to treat others with respect and love, even beyond what they deserve, because Christ has saved us by grace through faith.
When Moses says, “I’ve set before you life and death, blessings and curses,” it was for the purpose of choosing life. This is serious business. Souls are at stake with our foolishness today. Lives are being ruined with our desire to hammer each other, to defame each other, to treat each other as less than human. Choosing life is way beyond some political call to action. It’s a call for us to try to be human beings again to each other, to protect the weak, to lift up the hurting, to speak well of each other, and put the best construction on what someone is doing — until you know for sure what they are up to.
I’m reminded of the Lord I love, the Lord I serve, and He doesn’t give up on anyone so easily. Choose life is His call for Christians to live as people who cherish life, yes, who are willing to call out those who defame, diminish, even destroy life, but also as those who seek to hang in there with people who may be in the clutches of such destruction — to remind them too that Christ died for sinners like us all, so that we all might have life and have it to its fullest extent, abundantly eternal.
THE PRAYER: Dear Jesus, save us from ourselves. Give us a sense of civility and humility again as a society, but even more, change our hearts and let us begin to model the very love we’ve received in You, model it to others. Amen!