Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina is on a mission to be a “messenger of hope,” inspiring people to realize the amazing opportunities that reside on the other side of life’s difficulties and struggles.
Scott — author of the book, Opportunity Knocks: How Hard Work, Community, and Business Can Improve Lives and End Poverty — has endured his own share of hardships, telling the “Edifi With Billy Hallowell” podcast how past challenges helped lead him to his Christian faith.
“I … accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and my Savior and I will tell you that all of the challenges and tragedies that led me to that place, I can [now] see it differently,” Scott said. “The hard times actually were purposeful. [God] didn’t waste a single experience.”
Listen to Scott tell his incredible life story:
The senator went on to say that “every single piece of that mess has become a part” of his message. And while he doesn’t believe God causes bad things to happen, he contends that unfortunate events help refine human beings.
Scott shared additional details of his personal journey, including his parents’ divorce when he was 7 years old, his upbringing with a single mom, and a car accident that deeply impacted him.
“My mother was a hardworking woman,” Scott said, noting that she wanted her son to be a model of what diligence and hard work look like.
Despite her shining example, Scott described himself as a “hard-headed” teenager who nearly flunked out of high school as a freshman. But some tough love from his mother and an emerging mentor helped turn that all around, propelling him on a path toward success.
“Without any question, my childhood was filled with love but not resources — filled with optimism that became the hope and that hope was born through a praying mother,” he said, noting that his mentor helped him set higher goals. “[With] the combination between my mom and my mentor, my life started to change.”
Scott grew up, graduated college, started a business and went on to have a budding political career — a shining example of the fruits of hard work and dedication.
And he offered an impassioned reply to those who argue that the systems in America are “rigged.”
“It’s rigged for those who work hard, for those who get educated — it’s rigged for those who have some strong desire to make a difference,” he said, noting that he believes the situation in America continues to get brighter.
Scott shared that his grandfather, who was born in 1922, started his life picking cotton, and later had the chance to see his grandson elected to Congress.
“From cotton to Congress in one lifetime,” Scott said. “This nation — the greatest nation on Earth — it is strongly positioned so that anyone from anywhere at any time can succeed beyond their wildest imagination if they hold on to the concept that there’s more to come, and they lean into it and they work hard, they study hard — good things happen.”