Last week, we discussed how to leave the life of corruption.
If you missed that, you can find it on the Mmegi website by searching for Ashley Thaba. To sum up the article, first identify the problem, then admit you did something wrong, next confess that to at least God and maybe someone else and lastly stop doing it.
However, the “stopping” part is tricky because most of us tend to quickly revert back to bad habits, even when we know they are hurting us and those around us. Today we want to talk about how to come into the light and stay there. I am using the term light because no one participates in corruption in the open. These actions are done in secret, behind closed doors, or in the spiritual sense – in the darkness.
Firstly, with any bad habit, you need to identify triggers and get rid of them. Sometimes that is bad friends who you know are going to keep encouraging you to take/give the bribes or gain favor through name dropping and abuse of power. Possibly, they don’t encourage you directly, but when you hang out with them and hear their stories of how they easily acquired their wealth and seem to be enjoying a nice life, the temptation is too much to not join in the “fun”. I am not saying it is easy to make new friends and keep distance from old ones, but I can encourage you it is a worthwhile investment to take the time to build friendships with people who want the best for you, who won’t use you for their personal agendas and will encourage you to make decisions that edify you as a person.
Another trigger can be deceptive thoughts. It’s natural to think about how much you want money or power – to the point that you begin to believe that it is worth it to cut corners and ignore your conscience to obtain it.
Every action originates with a thought! If you can change the thoughts, you can change the actions. For me, this is an intentional battle I fight every day.
A “weapon” I use is the scripture in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, which states that we take captive every thought that sets itself up against God. For me, I study the Bible and ask God to gently nudge me when I am thinking or doing something contrary to what I know to be truth in scripture.
Once identified, I envision myself taking that thought “captive” and throwing it out and replacing it with God’s word.
If the temptation is great and the struggle to get rid of the thought is difficult, I deliberately think through the consequences and way I will feel if I ignore God and do it my way. For example, one time my husband (who is a Project Manager with his own company) had gone over a year without a project. Many had been lost because he wasn’t willing to do shady things! Nevertheless, we kept trusting in God but times were getting tough and money tight! One day, he was called into a government office and a high ranking official said, “Your Company is short listed. I can make sure you
Let me be honest. For the first time, we were tempted. The profit margin on that tender was P600,000. The guy wanted P50,000. From a strictly financial perspective, it made sense. Sacrifice 50k to make 550k! An alarm bell went off in my mind since I had invited God to take control and guide me in the right path. At first I tried to rationalise: “Others do it. We have gone too long without work for doing the “right thing”; it’s time for us to benefit for once! Technically, we are just thanking him and he IS helping us develop the business so what he is asking isn’t a total lie!”
God kept nudging – no matter how you package it. It is WRONG! That whole night my husband and I discussed it until finally we began to think about the consequences if we compromised and went against the Word of God. If anyone found out, we could be in trouble with DCEC. My husband is one of the best project managers in the country. He has worked hard to have a respected and trusted name. One greedy decision could ruin years of building a good name. Although we could continue to preach against corruption, we would know we were hypocrites who didn’t practice what we preached. We would be liars to our children because we had frequently told them we would never do this. Finally, we would be contributing to this huge MONSTER that is destroying our country! Our relationship with God and internal peace would be affected if we purposefully chose disobedience and walked away from God’s counsel.
In the end, we decided tempting as it may be, no amount of money was worth losing our self-respect, our good reputation, our internal peace and joy, and playing a part in destroying our economy. I tell you this story to say it isn’t easy but it is worth it to choose to do the right thing – both for your sake and for the sake of our country. With the Spirit of God inside of you, strengthening you, you can do ALL things! He can guide you to a life you are proud of, a life that helps instead of destroys our nation, a life where your children admire you and your colleagues trust and respect you. Next week, we’ll talk about how to practically let God take control of your daily life so you can be victorious with these mental battles we all regularly face.
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Ashley Thaba is a popular motivational speaker and life coach. She is the author of the well-known books, Dive In and Conquering the Giants. She also facilitates corporate team building and wellness activities. You can view some of her work on her YouTube channel: Ashley Thaba.