For three months I dedicated myself to working very hard on editing a novel. I am often called on by family, friends, colleagues, and some of my church family to edit their business letters, grad papers, essays, stories and resume`s. You name it, I edit it. So I thought I would get some business cards and edit for profit. I always had an entrepreneurial spirit and I dream of having a successful business one day. After getting some business cards–you know the free ones they advertise all the time (all you have to pay for is shipping)– I prayed for God to send me some clients. Shortly after, someone I knew referred someone to me and I seized the opportunity that I believed God sent my way. My email was passed along and that was the beginning of an opportunity to not only help someone polish their work, but gain my first client. I kept frequent communication with my new client via phone, text, email and in person and I made clear that I was charging for my services from the beginning. I even gave her a discount and a very affordable price. Her book was four hundred and something pages long and I worked with my motto/prayer in mind—I will do all things with a spirit of excellence. When I was nearly complete, I sent her an email with the receipt of the charges, gave her a date when the editing would be officially complete, and set up a date when we could meet in person.
I’ll get straight to it. She did not pay me! After the last meeting with her, I walked away disappointed, ashamed, and hurt for various reasons. I was ashamed that I had failed in my first editing business attempt. I was disappointed that I had worked so hard and kept up the lines of communication and yet I didn’t get the respect I deserved. I was hurt because I assumed this person was a Christian also. However, I think I walked away with shame and hurt more as the words from an article shot back in my mind that my mother had given me recently. The article was about how often people who aim to please people so much and are too nice become like worn out doormats. I admit, I have been quite the people pleaser and way too lenient. I see my behavior and attitude leading up to this point and even setting the stage for how I handle things, including business. It hit me that for years I have been devaluing myself and teaching others to devalue me also. I have always helped this person do this and that and overwhelmed myself with this and that and now family and friends expect me to say yes all the time. I have been so passive that I have even taught people that it is okay to take advantage of my time, energy, strength and my compassion. I suspect the person I knew told my client to not worry and that I wouldn’t charge her because that was always my pattern with people close to me before. Well after my last meeting with my client–should I even call her that if I didn’t get paid– I chose not to email her the finished product. I did learn something about business, although I do feel a little bad about withholding it. However, I am hurt that someone would call me their editor and was repeatedly told that there was a charge, but yet did not value my time and energy. I did, however, learn some things:
- Learn to say no. Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one (Matthew 5:37 NLT)
- Do not devalue yourself. I firmly believe in continuing to be nice and merciful, as well as treating people the way I want to be treated. After all, God says to love my neighbor as myself and to be humble, but that doesn’t mean to devalue myself and act as if I don’t matter. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows. (Luke 12:7 NLT)
- Pay back what you owe, whether it is money, respect, time, or a listening ear. Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. (Romans 13:8 NIV)
- Forgive and walk in love anyway. I could handle this according to the world in so many ways, but I won’t and I’m not. I don’t have any hostility towards the person and I even prayed that I won’t offend her in anyway. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” (Mark 11:25 NIV)
I thank You for helping me to see where I could improve instead of me just focusing on someone else’s wrongs. Help me to continue to forgive anyone who has wronged me and to be patient as You not only work on my character, but theirs as well. Open up their heart and understanding to the hurt they caused but help me to not offend them also. I thank You, Lord, for showing me that I am of value to You and I am always on Your mind and in Your heart! I trust You to handle this situation and I am still encouraged. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to never devalue yourself. You are fearfully and wonderfully made and God says that you are worth more than a whole flock of sparrows that He also takes care of. His son Jesus Christ offered himself up to take your place and reconcile you back to Him, the Father. Trust Him even when you are disappointed, hurt, ashamed, abused and used!
Read a related EmpowerMoment: Just Say NO!
Ms. Tannika Moore loves the Lord and loves to write! Besides writing poetry or editing written work for family and friends, she currently works for NEIU Educational Talent Search program. She help assists Chicago public high school students with their reading, writing, etc. as well as helps them consider and prepare for college. She, like many of her students, is the first of her family to graduate from college. She earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in English-Professional & Technical Writing. God, the Creator and Great Father has also created her to be a Compassion Person and Encourager and so she loves to encourage people according to God’s Word and help them to see, think and become better through her support, actions and writing. Her favorite scripture comes from Philippians 1:6, For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you shall perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.