Kathryn S. Patterson - Blog
Making a good choice doesn’t sound too difficult, and sometimes it is pretty easy. For example, making the choice not to put your hand on a hot stove is an excellent choice, otherwise you could be seriously injured. That would be an easy choice; it’s a good choice, but an easy one. I’m sure it would be easy to think of easy choices! But how about a choice that is not so easy? Sometimes making a good choice, or a right choice, calls for you to do something hard, or maybe something you don’t want to do.
What is an example of a good or right choice that requires you to do something you don’t want to do? Think for a minute!
What if you have a friend that tells you a secret and askes you to promise not to tell anyone. You agree to keep your friend’s secret. Then once you learn what the secret is you are sorry you agreed to keep the secret. You know that the secret could be dangerous, illegal, or cause someone else a lot of pain and hurt. What do you do? You don’t want to break a confidence or promise to your friend. Making the choice to keep the secret causes you to be part of the danger, illegality or painful circumstance. But you then think breaking the confidence or not keeping the promise regarding the secret could cost my friendship, or even get my friend in trouble.
When the secret can cause a dangerous outcome, something “illegal” or cause someone pain and hurt in some way, the choice should be choosing to do the right thing. In this instance tell your friend you cannot keep the secret and why you cannot keep it. And then, depending on the seriousness of the situation, tell someone you trust in their choices what the situation is and seek out the best outcome for everyone.
You haven’t betrayed your friend, because you made it known you could no longer keep the secret and why. You have gone to a trusted source for help and advice. Possibly you have saved your friend from trouble and some unintended consequences. Your friend will most likely appreciate the choice you have made.
Daniela thought she had lots of friends between school, Sunday school and the neighborhood. However, as time and events unfolded some of her friendships just fell away. This falling away of some friendships caused Daniela to rethink exactly what a friend was. As Daniela began to sort out all that had happened, it occurred to her that just maybe she should rethink what a friend really was. While wading through her thoughts she began to make a list of what she liked and didn’t like about some friends. When her list was finished, Daniela was shocked at what she saw on the list; what she liked and what she didn’t like about some of her friends.
Daniela thought, I’m not sure how to pick a friend. There must be a better way to choose friends! What can I do?
As Daniela pondered everything, it occurred to her the best way to choose a friend is first choose someone she liked, someone she had common interests with. Then what? She thought, loyalty is an excellent quality that someone should have; someone whose word is true! Another quality is someone who stands with you and defends your friendship. Another quality is someone who can point our when you are wrong, but does it in a loving way, not with anger or yelling. And finally, someone you can count on, in other words, dependable.
Daniela thought to herself, Do I know someone like that? Do I already have a friend like this? Maybe I do! How lucky I am to have a friend like this! Even though I knowow lHow lots of people, friends like this are few and they will be a blessing to me. This is the kind of friend I want to be to others.
When Daniela met the first maidservant to the queen she didn’t know what it meant to be a servant or have a servant’s heart. She had always been told what to do either by her parents, older brother or someone else in her life. Daniela always thought she was being bossed around by everyone, and she didn’t like it very much.
While serving under the first maidservant to the queen, Daniela learned serving others and helping others were closely related. Helping her mom wasn’t being a servant, it was just helping. But when someone else asked for help or to do something it was more like serving. Daniela had a little trouble sorting out the difference of serving or helping. It seemed like serving had a relational quality. In other words, she had some relation to the person she was serving. That meant her attitude would be important, she would have a smile on her face and a happy heart, be respectful, and that would build relationships. With her mom attitude was important, too. Having a smile on her face and a happy heart were important, and of course, respect for her parents went without saying, but that was because she loved them.
This idea of serving gave Daniela lots to think about. Serving others blesses others, but it blesses her as well. Identifying serving and helping will always be a challenge, but either way there will be blessings.
Daniela had several lessons to learn from her experience with Queen Esther and living in the palace and serving under the first maid servant to the queen. Each day was something new for Daniela. The lesson on loyalty came from both Queen Esther and the first maid servant to the queen. Queen Esther displayed her loyalty to her people when she stood before the king and spoke on behalf of the Jewish people even at her own risk.
Loyalty has many different uses depending on the circumstances. Loyalty can mean being faithful to your oath or obligation, or loyal to a vow or promise. Loyalty can also mean being faithful to a person or something deserving fidelity, as in a loyal friend. Loyalty can also be seen in the character of a person showing faithfulness as in one’s conduct.
The first maid servant to the queen, whom Daniela served under, showed Daniela loyalty in many ways. One important way was her loyalty to the queen. She was faithful always in her conduct and respect for Queen Esther. No doubt the first maid servant had taken an oath to serve the queen, and keeping the oath by her attitude and conduct was an outward sign of her loyalty to the queen.
Ask yourself: Where do I show my loyalty?
The word “courage” has many different uses depending on the context in which it is used. Queen Esther’s courage was in the context of defending what she believed was the right thing to do and standing firm against what she believed was wrong, harmful, even deadly.
Queen Esther was acting on her conviction, or belief that an action by Haman would be devastating, harmful, wrong, and even deadly to the Jewish people. Queen Esther’s action before the king was an expression of the courage of her conviction, what she believed to be right. It was a boldness, a fearlessness and determination, even with a cost involved, to stand for what she knew and believed to be right. It was the lesson Queen Esther wanted to share with Daniela.
Courage is valiance, having valor, not lack of daring or faint-heartedness; courage is self-confidence, fearlessness, boldness, not fearful and boasting. Courage is taking leadership not leading from behind.
Just as Queen Esther told Daniela, everyone has courage even if it is hidden; they may not know they have courage, unless they are tested. Don’t be afraid to be tested!