3 Reasons to Change Your Vocabulary from “Have to” to “Choose to”

The greatest excuse in the world to escape doing something you don’t want to do is “I have to” and the greatest lie of the hypocrite is saying “I have to”.

In relationships, in meetings, in friendships, and in marriages the words “I have to” can be used in almost scenario. For example:

You hate your job, but its 7 am and you HAVE TO go to work.

Your mother-in-law cooks terrible meatloaf, but you HAVE TO eat because your wife wants you to.

An acquaintance you don’t really want to spend time with asks you over for dinner, but you cannot think of an excuse fast enough so you HAVE TO go over for dinner.

You Don’t Have to do Anything, You Choose to.

You don’t have to eat the meatloaf, you don’t have to meet the friend, and you don’t have to go to work…you choose to.

1. Helps you see that you have been a hypocrite.

I define a hypocrite as a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hypocrite). Up to this point you have been living a lie by saying you will do something when you really don’t want to and parading around as a hypocrite. This has got to end. By saying choose, you recognize that you are doing something that you have deemed as worthwhile rather than attending things that you are obligated to, had no choice in and no interest in. By saying choose it gets you closer to your stated beliefs or feelings. Why would you ever choose to do something you have no interest in?

2. It is freeing to use the word “NO”.

It allows you to recognize what you want to choose to do and what you don’t want to do. Obviously your choices will have ramifications. If you choose not to eat the meatloaf, your wife may be mad at you. If you choose not to go to work you will not get paid, but by saying no it sets clear expectations of where you find joy and by saying yes to something it can and should be assumed that you are not under any obligation to be there. You begin to be honest and no one will ever question what you are really thinking when you assert something.

3. You begin pursuing the greatest joy in life-always.

For the Christian, this becomes incredibly important. In spiritual disciplines, in bible reading, and in prayer, what has been at the root of why you do them? To please God or because you HAVE TO? When you begin to say choose, you recognize that you are finding greater joy in reading the bible than not because it is rooted in your love for God not in an obligation to the law. If you don’t feel like reading the bible, don’t do it because you have to as the hypocrite, but do it because you are choosing to as a result of knowing it is what God desires for your life.

8 thoughts on “3 Reasons to Change Your Vocabulary from “Have to” to “Choose to”

  • Great point about choosing to. We often do things in order to get the positive that comes from it. I know a lot of people who don’t like working but go for the pay check. Without work their would not be a paycheck(In most cases). So we do things to gain the benefit from doing it.

    • If someone tells me they don’t like their work- I tell them quit and find something you like. They respond…but I have to go. I respond. WHY? They usually respond with exactly what you said…”I need the paycheck.” SO the answer is you don’t have to go, but you are choosing to go because you enjoy the paycheck which allows you do buy things you like, or take care of your family.

      This is always a great launching point in my mind in walking religious people through prayer, bible reading, and our view of God.
      1. You are living obligatory faith and going through the motions.
      2. The amount of “I don’t want to pray” you feel becomes a thermometer of how much you really trust God.
      If you really trust God, and everything He says, we would choose to pray over and over and over….maybe without ceasing. But do I feel guilty when I don’t want to pray? No, but it becomes an indicator that I can trust God more and experience more of Him—and thats always a good thing 🙂

  • I am slowly finding out that when I choose to read my Bible the time in the Word is sweeter and better. When I’ve done it because it’s what a Christian is supposed to do, I fail time after time. Now I just need to feel that same way about praying.

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