The Law of the Harvest: Part 3.
The third aspect of the Law of the Harvest is the power of choice. We always carry this power with us. We can always choose. No one can take that power away from us. We can give it away, but it cannot be taken away. Viktor Frankl shared this in a powerful way in his book, Man’s Search for Meaning: “The last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.”
No matter what our circumstance, we choose how we perceive it.
One of my mentors used to say that “nothing has any meaning but the meaning you give it.”
Paul, the Apostle of Jesus Christ said it this way: “For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content,” (Philippians 4:11).
In other words, no matter what your circumstance, you can choose to be happy, content, humble, in love, in faith, patient, and peaceful. It is always a choice. Always. It is not always an easy choice, but it is always an available choice. It doesn’t matter what the other person does or does not do. It doesn’t matter what the other person did or might do. You have power to choose. This power will release you from any and all negative consequences of any interaction.
I once heard a presentation by a lady who had been kidnapped, raped repeatedly, and then survived her captor’s two attempts to kill her. She escaped, but with permanent facial disfigurements. A person in the audience asked her, “How does this event effect your daily life?” She said (according to my memory), “I am not going to give another moment of my life to that man. He had as much of my life as I am willing to give. I have let him go and it go. I am grateful for my life as it is.”
Jesus Christ, in the midst of his crucifixion, the most painful way to die ever devised by man, had the capacity to say, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
With the idea of choice firmly planted, the opposite of being willing to choose a grateful mindset is the choice to be “a victim.” This choice, to be a victim, is a very common mindset, and in some parts of society, it is considered a treasured and celebrated “right.” But as soon as we decide to take on the role of “victim,” we accept a limited field of options in our lives. If we believe ourselves to be victims, we also believe that the only way to escape our negative circumstances is to get others to behave in the way we think they should, to fix the way we feel. Anytime we give others the power to determine how we feel about something, we surrender to voluntary slavery. I know that ‘slavery’ is a charged word, but it accurately describes the choice to be a victim: the pain that comes from voluntary slavery is just as real as that which came from the type of slavery that used to exist in our society and still exists in some.
The problem is that voluntary slavery, or victimhood, is a self-imposed trap resulting from the way we view our circumstances, and we can only be released from that bondage by our own permission. We have to recognize again our immense power to choose, and the influence that that power has in our life experience, one way or the other—for freedom or for victimhood.
The Bible teaches that “All things work together for good….” If we believe that, then there is never a cause for letting ourselves be a victim.