DEVOTIONAL GUIDE: Remember who you are, and choose accordingly

Despite our mistakes, God wants us to know we are precious and that He wants to bless us.

Rev. Roger Grafenstein
Contributed / Roger Grafenstein

On the brink of the Israelites entering the promised land, God shared a word of hope and a word of caution. “Today, I have set before you life and what’s good versus death and what’s wrong” (Deuteronomy 30:15).

Bishop William Willimon in a reflection on baptism shared that his parents would utter daunting words when he went out as a teen: “Remember who you are.” He knew what they meant: Remember how we raised you. Remember the values you were taught. Remember who God is calling you to be.

However, there are moments when life tells us we are anything but precious children of God with the capacity for doing good. Sometimes voices say we are unworthy and anything but precious in God’s eyes.

The Israelites had lived in captivity as slaves and were treated as unworthy for generations. Even after escaping they battled famine, thirst, and fear in the desert – and made mistakes along the way. God kept promising them they were precious and would be blessed.

They heard the words but doubted their truth. So, when God said, “I set before life and death, blessing and curse, before you; now choose life” (Deuteronomy 30:19b), it wasn’t a given that they would choose life.


Choosing things that enrich, bless, and nurture life isn’t automatic for any of us. Choosing healthy food, behaviors that encourage good and words that bless takes work. Life-giving choices are even more difficult if we’ve made unhealthy choices for a while.

I live with diabetes. It’s currently well-controlled. When I was first diagnosed, though, I discovered living with diabetes had a spiritual dimension. Every day presents opportunities for unhealthy decisions.

Spending time on self-criticism after a poor choice will lead to getting discouraged – and often more poor choices. Remembering God is gracious empowers us to start anew with healthy decisions.

The spiritual life also unfolds one choice at a time. Getting back on track happens one choice at a time. Choosing healthy fruits of the spirit like patience, kindness and generosity happens a decision at a time. Even one healthy decision is a good decision. Wherever we are, we can choose to take one step closer to what God hopes for us.

Wherever you are on your journey today, choose what brings life and health. Choose what nurtures self and others. Remember. Always remember. God wants the best for you. You ARE a precious child of God.


Rev. Roger Grafenstein serves as pastor of Riverside United Methodist Church.
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