The Bible Says Love Is A Choice

“That you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” (Deuteronomy 30:20 NIV)

Today we’ve bought into this myth that love is uncontrollable, that it’s something that just happens to us. In fact, even the language we use implies the uncontrollability of love. We say, “I fell in love,” as if love is some kind of a ditch. It’s like I’m walking along one day and — bam! — I fell in love. I couldn’t help myself. 

But I have to tell you the truth: That’s not love. Love doesn’t just happen to you. Love is a choice, and it represents a commitment. 

You must choose to love God; he won’t force you to love him (Deuteronomy 30:20). You can thumb your nose at God and go a totally different way. You can destroy your life if you choose to do that. God still won’t force you to love him because he knows love can’t be forced.

This same principle is true about your relationships: You can choose to love others, but God won’t force you to love anyone.

During the Christmas season, we gather to celebrate with family and friends. It is often a joyous time. But I’ve been a pastor for more than 30 years, so I know it can also be a time of tension and heartache.

Is there someone you might have trouble loving this Christmas season — someone in your family, a friend, or a neighbor? God will help you love that person if you make the choice to do so.

That doesn’t mean everything will become perfect; it doesn’t even mean that person will accept your love. But you are the only person who can stop you from loving someone else — because love is a choice you make.

 

Watch a short video sample from Pastor Rick on the importance of love. Saddleback Resources offers 40 Days of Love, a six-week, video-based study for small groups or individuals that searches the Scripture for what love is, the characteristics of love, and how our relationships can be transformed by love.

Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life.  His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors. © Copyright 2011 Rick Warren. 


Give hope, prayer, and encouragement below. Post a comment & talk about it.

SIGN UP FOR PASTOR RICK’S FREE DAILY HOPE DEVOTIONAL

SIGN UP FOR DAILY HOPE DEVOTIONAL

Special Offer

LWP-gift-bottom-left_mini

Sermons for Life Change: The Most Requested Rick Warren Sermons

Would you like to become all God intended you to be? God is in the business of changing lives and He wants to transform you into the person He created you to be-with more love, more faith, and an eternal purpose. Thousands of people have personally shared how their lives have been transformed by Pastor Rick Warren's powerful teaching so we put together a six CD collection of his most requested sermons. These are sermons you’ll want to listen to more than once and to share with your friends and family members.

Request Your Copy

On the Radio

Living With Purpose: How To Get Through What You're Going Through Audio Series

In this broadcast, Pastor Rick walks through the steps you can take when you're going through difficult times. God is using your dark and stressful times for good. He'll use them to teach you to trust him, to show you how to help others, and to draw you closer to other believers. To give in to your fears is a choice.

Purchase this seriesListen to this series