THE EDITOR: It’s the beginning of 2020 and I thought it fitting to begin with some words of encouragement.
We all know the phrase “never say never” but I pray that we will never again use the expression “I had no choice.” Very often we use those words in defence of a decision that turned out to be unwise.
In my humble opinion, every single one of us has choices to make in every single circumstance that we face. If we are truly honest, we should be able to admit that we fall back on the excuse that we had no choice when the perceived or expected consequence of that choice is too much or too hard for us to bear.
At the core of it is a lack of faith. We doubt God, which leads to self-doubt, fear and pessimism; all negative influences that grip our minds and ultimately control our actions. Before we even realise it, we become like the walking dead, completely controlled by negative mindsets.
When the trials of life come (and they come so suddenly and unexpectedly), what do we choose to do? Do we choose to break the law when we lose our jobs and all our efforts to find a new one prove futile? Or do we engage in introspection and try to identify our strengths and talents that we all have and build on them?
The latter will take much longer and we may say, “I have bills now and I need money now!” And then we might react out of our fearful emotions and do something which we would later regret, only to say those dreaded words, “I had no choice.”
This may sound harsh but you did have a choice. You had a choice to believe God for your provision. I am by no means a person of means and I came from poverty. But I watched my unemployed mother pray earnestly for food, I watched her act in accordance to the word of God and then I watched the provision come.
A few years ago, I was the main breadwinner in my home. I earned a salary which was more than sufficient to raise my family. My husband felt secure enough to leave his 8-4 job to start a business. We were leading a relatively comfortable life.
My working environment, however, became unbearably toxic, bitter and even dangerous. My husband was not making nearly enough to support us. I had a choice to make. Do I believe God as my mother did or do I stay in that toxic an environment through fear that we would not make it otherwise?
I chose to leave, because at the end of the day no job carried the same value as my life. I chose to believe God, to believe in myself, to believe in my husband. Since then my husband’s business has been blessed with opportunity, and we received support from family, friends, the church, strangers, from a multitude of sources.
This is just one example. My decision to leave my parents’ home at a young age and step out on my own was a step of faith, my decision to choose life for my unborn son when the prognosis was death was a step of faith.
I wholeheartedly believe that the difference between a fulfilling life and a defeated one rests in the choices we make. Are our choices motivated by faith or by fear?
Our backgrounds and circumstances will be different but we can still make a decision to believe that a positive outcome will happen for us and hopefully we never again say, “I had no choice.”