Share:

Daily Devotional

Choose Life, Choose Blessings

September 22, 2022 - 12:00 am

This Devotional's Hebrew Word


(to forgive)

This day I call the heavens and the 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

Each week in synagogue, Jews read through the Torah from Genesis to Deuteronomy. The Torah portion for this week isNitzavim, which means “standing,” from Deuteronomy 29:9–30:20.

Viktor Frankl, the famous psychotherapist and author of the well-known book Man’s Search for Meaning, was an Austrian Jew who survived Nazi concentration camps during the Holocaust.

In this book, he writes about the Jewish inmates in the camps. One of his main points is that human beings have an innate need for meaning in their lives.

Dr. Frankl tells stories about his fellow prisoners’ different attitudes to their suffering. Specifically, he notes that those who felt that they had a higher purpose or goal had a much greater chance of surviving.

Sometimes it was loved ones that they felt needed them, or a project or scientific research that they had left unfinished. Whatever it was, if they felt they had something to live for, they lived. Those without any dreams or goals tended to focus on their suffering and were much more likely to perish.

Choose Life, Choose Blessings

We see a similar lesson in this week’s Torah portion. We read, “This day I call the heavens and the 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.”

On the surface, this verse seems obvious. After all, who would choose death over life? Who would choose curses over blessings? But the truth is that it’s not so simple.

The verse is not telling us to choose to live and receive wonderful blessings over death and suffering. Life is full of good times and difficult times as well. Everyone experiences ups and downs.

What the Bible is telling us is that it’s up to us to choose what we focus on. Do we choose to focus on the blessings? Or do we choose to focus on the hardships and pain? Choose life. Choose blessings.

Choosing life means that we choose meaning. It means that we choose to see the good, to see the possibilities for blessing, rather than focusing on whatever difficult situation we may find ourselves in.

And as the end of the verse teaches us when we choose life, we choose a better future for our children.

Your turn: What are you choosing today? What are the goals and blessings you are focusing on today?

     

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.