We Always Have a Choice
Learning to Choose Wisely
by Joanne Troppello
“Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make, makes you. Choose wisely.” – Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
When I saw that quote today, I knew I had to include it in my article. Those words and that perspective from Roy T. Bennett are so true. We always have a choice in what we do, how we respond rather than react, and how we view what happens to us. Problems arise when we choose the wrong path.
Learning to Choose Wisely
One of my favorite verses focuses on complete trust in the Lord. I fail in this area many times, but God has been helping me learn how to make better choices.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” – Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)
Verse five urges you to trust in the Lord with ALL your heart. Not part of your heart, but all of it. The verse continues to encourage you to lean not on your own understanding. So many times in my life I have leaned on my own understanding. I tried to figure things out on my own. I didn’t consult God with the big decisions, and I made a mess of things.
Even in those moments, I was surprised by the messes I made of things. How could I be surprised then when I made poor decisions and veered off of God’s perfect will for my life. Maybe you’ve had times where you’ve made bad decisions and then complained to God or came to Him and asked Him to help you get out of the mess.
Believe me, I’ve had many times when I’ve gone to God in prayer to ask for help cleaning up my messes. Yes, God’s grace is new each day. He will be faithful and help us through things.
Yet, the operative word is through the mess. When you make mistakes and ask God to redeem the situation, He will work all things together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28, NKJV)—however, you will need to experience all the consequences.
I can speak from experience on this issue. I won’t go into detail here, but about twelve years ago, both my husband and I lost our full-time jobs (about six months apart). We experienced extreme financial difficulties and went through hard times in the ensuing years.
Now, it was not our fault that we lost our jobs through companies downsizing etc. However, through weariness from the situation – and walking in our flesh – we made some poor choices and got into deep messes along the way.
We’ve endured the consequences through the years but have seen a light at the end of the tunnel. God is good. He was with us through it all. We’ve learned so much about ourselves and have grown as individuals, and as a married couple.
I regret our decisions during that time, but I don’t regret the lessons we learned. Now, I don’t advocate for doing things your own way. I fully encourage you to seek out God’s will for your life and get in line with His plans.
I just wanted to share that I know what it feels like to mess up BIG time and experience God’s redemptive power. He is restoring relationships with our families. He is restoring our finances.
I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I was doing our bills yesterday and shared with my husband when he got home from work that one of our big credit card debts will be paid off in 7 months! Our car payment will be paid off in 10 months! That will be a lot of money that we can put into our savings accounts soon.
If you are going through difficult times, whether through your own fault or not, I urge you to keep praying. Trust God to redeem your situation and bring you out of the desert experiences through to the greener valleys and mountaintop encounters with the Lord.
How have you handled difficulties, especially when you’ve veered off God’s pathway for your life?
About the Author
Joanne Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel. Connect with Joanne on Twitter. You can find Joanne on these social media channels—Twitter, Facebook, Parler, Spreely, and Clouthub—with the same username, @JoanneTroppello—and @joannetroppello.mseedsentinel on Instagram. Visit the Mustard Seed Sentinel YouTube Channel. Check out MSS Live Well Corner.