Sunday, September 15, 2013

Choose Life!

This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against 

you that I have set before you life and death, blessings 

and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your 

children may live

Deuteronomy 30:19

I don't know that what I am about to say is extremely profound, but it certainly is part of the mission statement of my life.  I have often wondered why I don't like to give up until every possible option has been explored and even a few more!  Today I have been able to articulate goes like this:


I fight for my family, for my pets and for my friends because I believe that God told the Israelites to choose life for a reason.....Life is better than death!  

In every way that we, as human beings can choose life we absolutely should.  Choose life in your relationships by honoring the people in them.  Choose life in your physical being by doing everything you can to stay healthy.   That means choose a positive perspective, see the good not the negative.  That doesn't mean that we ignore problems and go into a place of denial, but simply put, if you look for problems you're going to find them.  If you look for people's flaws, you are going to find them.  If you major on the negative, what is going to be huge on the movie screen of your life?  Negativity!  

Each time we choose to put something into our body that doesn't bring it life, we are choosing death.  Toxic foods, alcohol, drugs, many processed foods, tobacco etc are things that our body has to fight in order to stay healthy.  I was told once by someone I highly respect that, "the body is created to be healthy and if we give it what it needs to be healthy, you can't beat health off with a stick."  God gave each of us a body that has as its sole purpose, the mission to keep us alive.  It will do that until we finally overload it to the point where it can't accomplish that mission anymore.  

Philippians 4:8 NKJV says this:  Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things.  

This portion of scripture is not a suggestion.  It has a purpose.  Our bodies respond to positive thought as much as they respond to negative thought.  When we think about what isn't going right, what we are afraid of, who isn't doing what the way we want them to, we not only affect our physical beings and our mental health, but we affect them as well.  Hebrews 11:1 says that FAITH is the SUBSTANCE of things HOPED for, the EVIDENCE of things NOT SEEN.  As we concentrate on negative thoughts, we are putting emotional energy, thought and physical response into what we are thinking about.  Faith works both ways....the substance of things hoped for can either be negative or positive.  You may think that faith doesn't work, but look at what you are thinking about, what you are expecting and what you say about yourself.  If you see the negative, do you have negative?  That is faith as well.

As we speak to each other, husbands and wives, parents and children....what kind of words are we choosing?  Do we choose words that build each other up, or tear each other down?  Do we speak with attitudes that give life?  Do we speak the truth?  Do we sincerely work to identify and solve the problems in our relationships or do we just fight with each other?  We are all human and we will all make mistakes.  We get angry and say things we don't want to.  However if we choose life the majority of the time for ourselves and with others, life will go pretty well.  It has to!

Now here is the disclaimer.  I am not advocating staying in abusive relationships.  Toxic people are out there.  I know.  I have been in a relationship or two like that in my life.  Perhaps you are in one of those times now or you may be that toxic person.  If so, just remember that the important thing is to take steps to come out of that toxicity. It is never too late!  If we don't, the consequences of leading a toxic life can include being lonely, depressed, unhealthy and even unsuccessful.  If you have someone who is toxic in your life, do what you can to help them. However, if they choose not to listen, choose not to change their lives...they are inevitably making the choice to be lonely.  There is only so much emotional toxicity people can handle and once they have reached that thresh-hold, relationships are usually irreparably damaged. Broken relationships are the inevitable consequence of toxic behavior.

Here is just an example of how scripture says certain positive and negative thoughts and/or emotions affect our body physically.  Just a note - our bones don't just give us structure, they also create blood cells:

  • Proverbs 14:30 NKJV

    A sound heart is life to the body, But envy is rottenness to the bones.
  • Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.

    Proverbs 13:12 NKJV

    Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.

I would ask you to consider the reasons why there are so many places in the Bible that tell us how to think or how to conduct our lives.  It isn't just because God wants to take our freedom away by telling us what to do and what not to do.  It's because many of these things bring life! He tells us what works and what doesn't work and then gives us the choice.  Positive psychology can provide us with many peer reviewed studies that show how happiness, joy and positive thinking literally change our brain function.  Nutritionists are starting to find that foods which fall into the lower inflammation producing categories also follow along the biblical dietary laws that we find in the Old Testament.  

As you live out the rest of your life, I would ask you to consider the attitudes and decisions that have guided you to this point.  At any point in our lives, we are the product of our best thinking.  If the fruit in your life is life giving, seek to make it better.  If you don't like the quality of the fruit in your life, change your thinking and make better quality decisions.  If you don't know how to do that, ask out someone who is producing good fruit and observe them, talk to their advice. Choose life!  It's always better than the alternative and you are too valuable not to fight for.