Love is always a choice. Always.

Love
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If you are like me, this pandemic has taken it’s toll. I have fleeting opportunities to see friends in person and it’s honestly dragging me down. You may have noticed in your daily routine, too.

I’m also a 1 on the Enneagram which means distance from friends can easily morph into a hideous combination of fear and anxiety that even my closest friendships can seem in danger of disappearing into the much of COVID-19.

You see, 1’s have a tale-tale sign that is indisputable among my reformer/perfectionist cohorts. We all have an inner critical voice that constantly tells us…

You’re messing everything up.
You’re failing.
Your friends are mad at you.
People you care about don’t care anymore.
and on, and on, and on.

Now, if you are a healthy 1, you recognize this insidious voice and take it with a grain of salt. If, however, you are in the midst of a pandemic, that voice can be deafening.

For many of us, the fear that our relationships are failing due to social distancing has been overwhelming.

For others, the near impossibility of getting away from the people closest to us because we are all trapped working from home is creating all new problems…and magnifying some old ones.

A lot of marriages are struggling right now.
Friends are stressed.
Feelings are hurt.
Previous tensions have evolved into all out war.
And the real kicker is…there’s no end in sight…at least not for a while.

Can I encourage you in one thing, especially if you feel your relationships are unraveling?

Love is a choice.

We CHOOSE to love someone. We don’t just “fall into love”.
Parents CHOOSE to love their children.
Husbands CHOOSE to love their wives, and vice versa.
Friends CHOOSE to love each other – even when they voted for different parties.
God CHOOSES to love us.
Jesus CHOSE to die on his cross.

Love is a choice. Always.

Too many times we believe that love is a feeling and we act when we feel “loving” or “in love”.
The real truth is that we feel full, warm, overflowing, loving and in love when we have CHOSEN to love first.

Who will you choose to love when it’s hard to love?
Can you choose to love your spouse when you really want to run away or give them a piece of your mind?
Can you choose to love your friends when they haven’t messaged you in a while?
Can you choose to love your church family even if you don’t always agree with them?
Are you building friendships with people that choose to love you?

When you fear that your relationships are falling apart during the dark days of COVID or any other time, choose to love. That may just be what reignites your relationships with others.

With much love,

Pastor Mark

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