Choose to Do It Anyway

Choices change our lives…

By Barbara Dahlgren

I remember once my daughter told her son to do a certain task. He balked and told her he didn’t want to do it. She didn’t get upset like I probably would have. She just calmly and sweetly replied, “That’s too bad. Life is full of things you will have to do that you don’t want to do, but you will have to do them anyway.” What a wonderful way to weave a life lesson into an everyday occurrence!

Do it anyway! What a concept! The Bible is full of instructions that I would rather not do. I struggle with all those “love one another” scriptures. I struggle with loving my neighbor as myself, loving my enemies, and even sometimes loving those closest to me (Mark 12:31, Matthew 5: 43-44, Ephesians 5:25). However, if I profess to be a Christian, I will have to do it anyway.

It’s hard to love people who are self-centered, unappreciative, and unreasonable. It’s hard to love people who don’t love you back. It’s hard to love someone who is irrational, illogical, or selfish. It’s hard to love those who verbally attack you, put you down, or spread unfounded rumors about you. However, the biblical instruction seems clear – love them anyway. Do it anyway!

An overview of Godly love can be found in 1 Corinthians 13. It is patient, kind, not envious, believes the best, endures, not resentful, and so on. However, it doesn’t say loving people means we should condone and accept everything they do, let them run roughshod over us, or give them everything they want. Love is not gullible. Nonetheless, even though love is a choice more than an emotion, it can still be a difficult and hard choice to make at times.

Nowhere is this more evident than with the sacrifice Jesus Christ made for us. God so loved the world that He gave His Son for us. (John 3:16, 17) Jesus so loved the world that He died for us.  (John 10:18) His motive was love. He had no guarantee we would love Him in return; in fact, many reviled Him for this act of love.

Jesus gave Himself freely for us. Sometimes I think we minimize the thought process Jesus went through before that crucifixion. Even though He knew in advance what was going to happen, there was certain distress or why would He say, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me…?” (Luke 22:42) Many debate exactly what this “cup” was. These debates present interesting speculations, but personally I don’t need to know what the “cup” was. For me it’s enough to know it was an agonizing choice. “And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly and His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” (Luke 22:44) It wasn’t easy, but He did it anyway.

Consider this…Mankind is unworthy of such sacrifice – such love. Jesus knew what it meant to do it anyway. He did it for me and He did it for you. I’m so glad He did!

One final thought… Since Jesus died for us, perhaps we should live for Him.