“And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.’”
– Genesis 2:16,17
One of the most powerful things we learn from the account of Adam and Eve and their time in a world without sin is that the God of Creation treasures choice. It’s easy to wonder why He put that forbidden tree in the garden, isn’t it? Why not just design a place where people could live happily ever after without having to face temptation? Yet the truth is that the tree provided the basis for a genuine connection between the Lord and His people. You see, optionality and freedom are vital components of love. Without them, it would be impossible to know the profound gift we receive when someone chooses to be in a relationship with us. Jesus made a choice to surrender His Heavenly throne and come to earth to live among us. He chose to go to the cross and suffer immensely for the sake of redeeming us, because He loves us. By giving Adam and Eve the choice to obey Him or to go their own way, He unlocked the door to relationship and gave humankind its greatest gift — the freedom to choose. Because we have liberty to decide to follow Him, we are not mindless robots but autonomous beings capable of experiencing the true gift of love.
My friend, it’s vital to remember that love is a choice and that you are endowed every day with the freedom to express it. No one in your life owes you their love nor do you owe them yours. You can choose to give and receive this precious gift because you were loved first by God and you want to let the world know that He loves them too. The Lord has given you the ability to choose relationship, both with Him and others, so vow to invite everyone you encounter to share in His unfathomable and never-ending goodness.
Jesus, thank you for choosing to love me. I choose to love you in return and to give others the same opportunity.
What’s significant about having the choice to love?