People often seem to think that when you're following the Lord and trying to do His will, your path will always be clear, the decisions smooth and easy, and life will be lived happily ever after and all that. Sometimes that may be true, but I've found that more often, it's not. The muddled decisions still seem muddled, bad things still happen to believers, and great things can happen to nonbelievers. When it comes to making our decisions, the key that God is concerned with is that we are trusting and seeking Him. God's desire is for us to align our lives with His Word and His will.
The most basic principle to being a free American is the notion that we as individuals are responsible for our own lives and decisions. We do not have the right to rob our neighbors to make up for our mistakes, neither does our neighbor have any right to tell us how to live, so long as we aren't infringing on their rights. Freedom to make bad decisions is inherent in the freedom to make good ones. If we are only free to make good decisions, we are not really free.
Be a balanced optimist. Nobody is suggesting that you become an oblivious Pollyanna, pretending that nothing bad can or ever will happen. Doing so can lead to poor decisions and invites people to take advantage of you. Instead, be a rational optimist who takes the good with the bad, in hopes of the good ultimately outweighing the bad, and with the understanding that being pessimistic about everything accomplishes nothing. Prepare for the worst but hope for the best - the former makes you sensible, and the latter makes you an optimist.
Taking chances for the people you care most about is easy. It's hard to take chances that might mean making bad decisions. But when I have to take chances about people I love, relationships, my daughter and immediate family, those decisions are easy. I make them without even thinking about it, it is usually something that just has to be done. You don't question anything, you just go for it.
I talk to a lot of women who have difficult times who are suffering. I really want women to be encouraged and to have hope because things can get better. Make good decisions, stop making bad ones, because we have to take responsibility too. But make good decisions and really the future will be a lot better for your kids - and yourself.
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