“Today I have set before you life and prosperity, death and doom … Choose life! – Deut 30:15
We often confuse unconditional
love with unconditional approval. God loves us without conditions but does not
approve of every human behavior. God doesn’t approve of betrayal, abuse,
violence, hatred, suspicion, and all other expressions of evil, because they
all contradict the love God instills in the human heart. Evil is the absence of
God’s love. Evil does not belong to God.
God’s unconditional love means
that God continues to love us even when we say or think evil things. The
injunction to “choose life” is not a condition of God’s love for us. Rather, it
describes the path to happiness and fulfillment. God continues to wait for us
as a loving parent waits for the return of a lost child. Whereas our sins may
keep us from God; but they can never keep God from us.
Not only does God never gives up
loving us, but God chooses to create us anew every moment with each breath we
take and each beating of our own hearts which continue to give life. God chooses
us as we are, regardless of our response. The challenge to “choose life”
is grounded in the truth that God has already chosen us, over and over
again ... persistently ... patiently ...
“O God, when we are most tempted to give up on ourselves, help us to
remember that you never give up on us.”
Adapted from Henri Nouwen