As human beings we are faced with multiple choices on any given day. For women, multiply “multiple” by infinity; that’s how many choices we have to make on any given day. Whenever I am faced with huge decisions, I turn to the Bible, prayer, and wise counsel; but whether small or large, choices have consequences that affect us as well as others. I have been in a type of limbo in my life for a few months. In this place, I have learned the power of each and every choice.
Whenever I am going through anything and feeling the need to be empowered, I tend to turn to the either the book of Ruth or the book of Esther. You have probably read it many times but to sum up chapter 1, King Ahasuerus decides to throw a huge party. After the lavish party, he gives a banquet for all the people living in the castle as his queen, Vashti, also provides a separate banquet for all the women. On the seventh day, the King orders his queen to come show off her beauty but she refuses to come. The King goes into a rage and asks his sages for some advice. They tell him she’s trippin’ and that she’s setting a bad example and needs to be done away with. Crazy, right? As with all choices (especially the rash ones), something irreversible is set into motion. As I went back and reread chapter 1 today, I was able to apply its truths in new ways.
Negative influences sometimes affect your decision making. The king and his homies had been partying for many days. They were undoubtedly under the influence. In the midst of being under the influence and showing off his lavishness, the king asks his queen to do something that would further boost his ego. He had been showing off his other riches; why not show off his most prized possession? Bad decision number 1. To further increase the possibility of irreversible repercussions, after Vashti refuses, the king’s homies (who are also in the wrong frame of mind for making decisions) chime in. Have you ever wondered why you keep finding yourself in the same predicaments? Could it possibly be that those around you are negative influences? Often time we let the WORST people effect our decision making. You might be going through a minor problem with your spouse and you let the one unhappy homegirl who never commits to anything influence you to leave. Sound familiar? When you are not in your best state of mind, your true friends will encourage you to control your instinct to react and to think about future consequences.
Handle private matters in private manners. King Ahasuerus and Queen Vashti were husband and wife. Though it was a party and perhaps not customary at the time, two people in any type of relationship have every right to talk to one another and figure out how to privately handle private problems. Why then do we take what is happening between us and another to everyone else? Problem with your husband, you go to your loud mouth girlfriends. Problem with your friend, you call your other friends. We create much more drama when we invite other people into an issue we should be taking to the one we love.
However, there are times when you need outside advice. At those times, be careful from whom you seek counsel. First of all, not everyone in your circle is on your side. So why do you keep asking those people that really don’t want to see you shine if you should hit the light switch? Secondly, not every person in your circle is fit for decision making. Clearly we have friends we love as people, but the wreckage they have made of their own lives should certainly be a red flag when seeking advice. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes the person who has been through what you’re going through and overcome is the exact person you should ask. But the friend that is always going through what you’re going through and never overcomes is not! Additionally, be careful that the person from whom you are seeking counsel doesn’t have ulterior motives. Memucan had a plan. He wanted Vashti to be an example so all the other women of the kingdom would “fall in line.” His advice was fueled by assumptions and leaned towards his own benefit. Beware of friends whose advice always has something in it for them. Finally, be leery of the friend who encourages you to make long-term decisions based on short term feelings. Memucan caused the King to create an edict that affected several tomorrows based on events of one night. What happened the next day when he realized what he had done and it was too late? Regret happened. Lives were changed. Permanently.
I don’t know why Vashti made the decision she made. But I do know that the King made decisions based on his ego, was coerced by negative influences, dealt publicly with a private matter, and sought unwise counsel. By the end of chapter one, decisions were made that would change the lives of not only the King and Queen but an entire kingdom. In Take Courage, A.Z. Tozer says, “Our choices reveal what kind of persons we are, but there is another side to the coin. We may by our choices also determine what kind of persons we will become. We humans are not only in a state of being; we are in a state of becoming.” Whether big or small, all choices will have consequences. What choices will you make? Who will you become?
Tozer, A.W. (2010). “Take courage.” Retrieved from https://takecourage.net/category/a-w-tozer/