Enemies, Gentleness, Love, Prayer, Self-Control, Testimony Series

My Testimony: A Testy Testimony

Happy New Year EmpowerMoments family! We have surely missed you! As we kick off the new year, we are beginning with a series entitled “Testimonies & Lessons”. We believe Revelation 12:11 when it says that we overcome by the word of our testimonies. We pray that our testimony and lessons from last year will EMPOWER you to triumph this year! May God bless you and make 2014 the greatest year of your life thus far!

Have you ever wished you weren’t a Christian just so you could claim ignorance when you intentionally did something wrong? Or have you ever wished you weren’t a Christian so you would not feel convicted to be an example of Christ for someone who is unsaved or for someone who you really don’t like. Until the latter part of last year, I had not had that experience. I was in a position where I had to “deal” with this person who I thought was rather unpleasant and had a habit of rubbing people the wrong way. The situation was very challenging. I was often in positions where I had to spend unwanted time with her. I would think to myself, “Lord, please help me to remain gracious and suppress my flesh.” I mean I just really didn’t like her, so much so I dreaded the thought of her. Moreover, I felt like my feelings were warranted because of her ugly ways and actions.  I really just wanted to “go off” on her one good time. But I was convicted by the fact that I am a Christian who is supposed to help bring others to Christ. What kind of witness would I be if I acted irrationally and out of character just to satisfy my fleshly desires? So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. (James 4:17 ESV)

I greatly battled with this. I even wished that she was a Christian so that at least it would be less pressure to “do the right thing” because Christians understand that Christians don’t always act “Christian” right? (How ridiculous is that thought? Guess I was really desperate.) But noooo, it would be too easy for her to be Christian and that would diminish the lesson God was teaching me. She is a deist of sorts. Deism, according to the freedictionary.com, is the belief, based solely on reason, in a God who created the universe and then abandoned it, assuming no control over life, exerting no influence on natural phenomena, and giving no supernatural revelation. My experience with her was so challenging that I would think, “really, God, I ask You to increase my walk with You and this is what You do?”

“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. (Luke 6: 27-31 ESV)

I was soooo frustrated. I don’t recall there ever being a time in my life where I felt so ill toward someone. I realized it was negatively impacting my life!  If I were to ever conquer this situation, God was going to have to help me! And help me He did…

Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. (Romans 12:14 NLT) This was so much harder than I thought and I thought I had been doing this my whole life. Certain situations really put certain scripture in perspective for you.

I started to PRAY more, not just for me, but FOR HER. I prayed on how to deal with her. I prayed on how to deal with myself regarding my feelings and thoughts toward her. I prayed to have her removed from my immediate surroundings. Then, believe it or not, over time I found myself praying for her “for real”, her heart, her salvation, her life and her situations. Over time, I didn’t dread the thought or sight of her as much. I wanted my life and light to reflect Christ toward her. I intentionally tried to set a good example even when she tested my resolve. It has now become easier to have a conversation with her and I could care less if she’s in “my space” or not. I guess the saying is true: “Prayer may not change the person, but it’ll change you.” Later, as God would have it, she was relocated to another area and we didn’t have to share the same space anymore. Funny how God works huh?

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for teaching lessons we unknowingly need to learn. Thanks for seeing past our emotions and for forgiving us when we don’t act like You would have us too. Thanks for strengthening our relationship with You through new experiences. Help us to pray for those who do us wrong and trust that You will handle it all in Your time. You said You would make our enemies our footstool, and we know that all things work together for our good. Thank You for the revelation and the unlikely testimony. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Tired, tried and tested sisters, I EMPOWER you to push past your feelings and give the situation to Jesus. I EMPOWER you to know that the test comes before the testimony! I EMPOWER you to hold on to the Word and abide by it no matter how trying or tempting the situation is. I EMPOWER you to pray for your enemies genuinely and sincerely! I EMPOWER you to go from test to testimony!

Ladies, who is God laying on your heart to pray for during your tests?

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Mrs. Coretta Collins is a wife and mother who enjoys reading, writing, movies and spending time with family and friends. She is avid about health, healing and helping which serves her well as a registered nurse and recent Family Nurse Practitioner graduate. Striving to be led by the Lord throughout life and having overcome significant challenges, her favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Coretta is a member of St. John A.M.E. Church in Birmingham, Alabama. She resides in Calera, Alabama with her awesome husband and two wonderful sons.

Family, Gentleness, Hospitality, Kindness, Relationships

Welcome

“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. (Luke 15:17-20 NIV)

Two weeks ago, my household changed.

As I held my now 3-month old nephew (too adorable!) for the first time, I watched as my younger sister and her friends loaded one big garbage bag of “stuff” after the next into my living room. It was so much stuff that I felt overwhelmed for a second, but it quickly passed away as I looked on the ones I loved. Reality set in, my sister and two nephews were moving in.

My family and I had been praying and preparing for this as best as we could ever since we found out that my sister wanted to move back to Illinois. She was living two or three hours away in another state but because of certain circumstances, she decided it was best to move back home. “I’m up here basically by myself,” she said. The family members (on her father’s side) who were up there with her were now incarcerated. Additionally, three months before she gave birth to my new nephew, she experienced such tragedy. She received a call that her boyfriend was shot. He, a well-known tattoo artist and in the midst of getting his life back on track, was robbed, stripped of even his clothes and shoes, and fatally shot in his head. He was murdered senselessly, never getting a chance to see his unborn son. I couldn’t imagine the pain my sister must have been experiencing. Yet my family and I have tried our best to help her cope. One thing that is certain is that God is a comforter and a healer, and I trust that He will continue to administer healing to my sister and this young man’s sons who have to grow up without their dad.

So when my sister expressed moving back home, I understood why and the season. The rest of the family and I welcomed her and my nephews with open arms. Now it isn’t peaches and cream or all gravy over here all the time but we are managing and maintaining our family and household. We have had to make some adjustments but I believe my sister has settled in nicely. I have realized that in this season I will get to see my nephews more, help my sister and also share God’s love and Word with her and my nephews. Mostly every night I have my 3-year-old nephew pray with me before bedtime. This is a treasured moment and a chance to emphasize the importance of prayer even at an early age. Yesterday I didn’t even have to say let’s pray, he asked on his own (smile).

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for welcoming me into Your kingdom with open arms and eternal kisses. I thank You for being such a great Father and supplying me with Your unfailing love. Thank You for Your daily mercies and not turning me away when I came home. I also thank You for expressing Your love through me and to me. I thank You for being the Comforter and a healer also. I love that even during difficult times, You can use our experiences for our good and bring life and blessings our way in the midst of it all. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to embrace seasons and others. Embrace all seasons that come your way by rejoicing and remembering God is in control. Open up your heart, forgive and embrace others with the love of God. We should be compassionate like the man who welcomed his son back and love on our family, friends, the fatherless, the hurting, and even those deemed “hard to love” even if they have strayed. We should not say “I told you so” or hold record of wrongdoing. We should also pray continually for repentant and humbled hearts as God opens the door for many to come into His eternal kingdom.

Has God told you to roll out the welcome mat for someone or has someone done it for you? How have you used this experience to show God’s love?

Read a related EmpowerMoment: For the LOVE of Family…

TODAY is the last day to support EmpowerMoments in the Black Weblog Awards. Click here to vote!

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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 thru 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.

Forgiveness, Gentleness, Growth/Maturity, Humility, Single in the City Series, Singleness

Single in the City 10: A Gentleman with a Future and a Past

A while ago, I was subtly approached by a male who I have a strictly professional relationship with. He expressed to me that his feelings were more than just office-related, but rather he felt that we had a real connection. Immediately I felt he was simply “running game”, so I decided not to entertain it much until I realized that he was not giving up. When I finally decided to give him a chance, our relationship progressed to nothing more than random texts and sporadic phone calls. I started to think that I had missed my opportunity until one day he chose to make his move.

Our first date was AWESOME! He proved to me that chivalry was indeed alive as he held the door open, pulled out my chair, and asked several times if I was alright. At dinner we talked, or better yet I talked and he listened intensely asking questions about ME along the way. I was utterly shocked that I was amidst a true gentleman.

After our meal we went to a spot in the park that overlooked the entire city to finish our conversation. It was then that I found out about his life before he learned to love the Lord. Long story short, the things of his past were not pretty as it involved a lot of violence, crime and imprisonment. Truthfully, a piece of me was turned off at the thought that this man had done everything under the sun until I had a flashback of my life and realized that many situations were quite similar.

“The righteous will move onward and forward, and those with pure hearts will be stronger and stronger.” (Job 17:9 NLT)

Ladies, being in the presence of this man was a reality check in that I had to understand that we all have a past, but more importantly we have a future! As he vividly described the events of his past, he was sure to let me know that all along he was crying out to Jesus but didn’t want to leave what he thought was the “life.” Since he surrendered to God, he has been abundantly blessed while serving the Lord wholeheartedly. As the above scripture implies, once we decide to live a life pleasing to God our past is behind us and our new clean and pure heart will become stronger as we press on. (I am not sure where this relationship will go from here but I am certain that this guy has changed my perspective about men who have endured more than the surface will ever show.)

Dear Daddy,

I praise Your name for continuing to love me despite my past. Thank You for trusting me enough to lead me to my future no matter what I did before accepting You as my Lord and Savior. Help me to stay focused on my not yet opposed to the back then. You have delivered me from it and I receive the blessings that You have for my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Single gals, I EMPOWER you to learn as much as you can while you are in the dating arena. There are many profitable single Christian men if only we can stop focusing on their past and believe in their futures. Have a BLESSED week!! ☺

Ladies, what advice do you have to offer our saved, single ladies in the dating arena? We would like to hear your responses below.

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Ms. Latasha Sampson is an accomplished writer who is currently pursuing her Masters Degree in Human Resources Management. She resides in Nashville, Tennessee where she is a faithful member of Mt. Zion Baptist Church. She serves tirelessly with the Evangelism Team there. Latasha also works at Mt. Zion as a member of the Administrative Support Staff. Her favorite scripture is “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn.” Isaiah 54:17

Forgiveness, Fruit of the Spirit, Gentleness, Growth/Maturity, Humility, Kindness, Patience, Throwback Thursdays

Throwback Thursday: If You Live In A Glass House…

It’s Throwback Thursday! This EmpowerMoment was originally published on July 12, 2011. Enjoy this blast from the past!

I know we have all heard the saying “If you live in a glass house don’t throw stones.” Three months after God called me to be a minister, I messed up. After being celibate for a while I had sex and got pregnant. I thought I was going to die. All I could think was ”What will people say? What will I do now? How will I face the church?” And guess what– my thoughts and questions were accurate. Even though I was remorseful and realized the terrible mistake I made, “church folks” started to treat me like I had the plague. People were whispering and all my duties at church were stripped from me. I was terrified and petrified because I thought the way I was being treated was my punishment from God. But I was so wrong! Thoughts went through my head of getting an abortion or simply leaving the church! Genesis 50: 20 says what you meant for evil, God meant it for good. (ASV) See what the devil and people thought would destroy me, helped transform me into the woman I am today.  God led me to John 8 where the teachers of law and the Pharisees brought a woman to Jesus that committed adultery and they said she should be stoned because that was the law. Jesus responded by stooping down and writing on the ground.When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.  Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8: 7-10 NIV)

I went to the Lord and He reminded me that everyone sins and falls short. God revealed to me that He forgave me and I needed to forgive myself. He also revealed to me that it’s easier for people to throw stones at you and judge your situation than to deal with their own mess. Everyone has some mess, but they will throw stones at you in order to not deal with the stones that are in their houses and lives. The very situation that I thought ruined me made my relationship stronger with God because I had to lean and depend on Him. Psalm 121:1 says, ”I lift up my eyes until the hills for whence cometh my help. All of my help come from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. (KJV) I learned man will fail you but God will be with you until the end. I kept trusting God and that very thing people threw stones at is “now my wonderful husband and my daughter. My ministry and my worship are for real. Those very people that counted me out and threw stones at my situation have come back to me for an encouraging word or a prayer because God showed them that nothing could separate me from His love . If you live in a glass house, please don’t throw stones.

Dear Daddy,
Thank You for being a forgiving God! I thank You for never giving up on me or counting me out. I pray for those that throw stones, that You reveal their mess to them and help them clean it up. I thank You for teaching me that if You are for me, no one can be against me. I thank You for the courage to stand when people said that I shouldn’t. Thank You for being a God of second chances! In Jesus’ name, Amen!

I EMPOWER you to not give up on God because He will never give up on you. God will forgive whatever sin you have committed and give you another chance. Do not let people determine your destiny; God already has a plan for your life!

What is your first reaction when you find out that your Christian brother or sister has made a mistake? Have you been on the receiving end of those stones?

Read A Related EmpowerMoment: Don’t Let It Get To You!

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Mrs. Keviyona Ray is an ordained minister and co-pastor of The Christ For All People International Church. She is passionate about sharing the word of God with everyone she encounters. As a professional, Keviyona is a teacher for Chicago Public Schools. She loves her ministry of teaching and changing children’s lives. She is a devoted wife and mother of a wonderful daughter. Two of her favorite scriptures are Jeremiah 1:5: “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations” and Proverbs 29:18: “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”

Evangelism, Gentleness, Growth/Maturity, Mentoring, Miscellaneous, Salvation

Put That Bible Down!

Now that I have your attention, the title of this blog was a lesson I learned when I found myself trying to minister to unbelievers. I remember becoming upset and frustrated, and feeling mocked and disrespected because I was “pushing” the Bible on someone that 1) had no clue of my scripture references and 2) became upset because I was judging them by statutes in, to them, a foreign language.

I grew up learning the Great Commission: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20 NIV) When I became serious about my Christian walk, I took this charge to heart. But I went about things in the wrong way.

When faced with friends and family members that didn’t believe the Word of God, enjoyed challenging the Word of God, or desired to mock the Word of God, I would find myself in a series of heated discussions that resulted in nothing. The outcomes were not prosperous. When I would see a friend delving into wayward ways such as drug addictions, gossiping, lying and the like, I would try to “encourage” them by sharing God’s scriptures and how He saved me. But yet again, my approach made them feel little. What I’ve come to learn is sharing scriptures with someone who does not know what they mean is like teaching grammar in German to a class of English speaking children. It’s fruitless and both parties become irritated.

By all means, I do not mean put your Bible away, because in order to reach those that are lost, you MUST know God’s Word and hide it in your heart so that you know how to react under all circumstances. But we have to be mindful of our approach. Hell is irrelevant to someone that has no spiritual knowledge of it. So telling someone they are going to hell for sinning does not reach the heart. In the book of Colossians we learn: Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” (Colossians 4:5-6 NIV) When faced with unbelievers and in a quest to encourage our brothers and sisters in the way of Christ, we have to be wise, living examples. Again, this means we have to KNOW the Word so that we can LIVE the Word and in turn encourage others to be imitators of Christ, by our actions.

Learning to take the “Faith Walk” approach, opposed to the “Slap them with the Bible” approach, I’ve had people ask me, “Well how do you forgive people the way you do?” “How do you love so and so the way you do?” What this tells me is that if I can imitate Christ, when unbelievers inquire then I can introduce them to Christ and gracefully and compassionately guide them to establishing their own relationship with Him. Have you ever heard of the phrase, “actions speak louder than words”? People will look at your actions before they listen to what you say. If they see you survive trials, not judge them in their mess, love them in kindness and patience, and speak power and encouragement in all things, I guarantee they will question that “something” you have. This is when the opportunity to introduce Christ presents itself.

My title may seem a tad harsh, but my point is this: We can reach those that are lost by our lifestyle and our actions. Condemning unbelievers with scripture rarely leaves either party encouraged. But if you can hide God’s Word in your heart, live it out loudly, and love them as God teaches us to, the opportunity will present itself for them to inquire about the love of God and you can then witness to them through wisdom and compassion.

Remember this: “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” (1 Peter 3:9 NIV) Therefore, do not argue with unbelievers, you may miss an opportunity to witness to them and those around them. It is not about you; to God be the glory.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for revealing to me that You are love (1 John 4:8) and that love is an action (1 Corinthians 13:4-7) I must live out. Teach me how to love those that appear to be lost just as Jesus did and speak to them kindly, with respect, and out of compassion. When the time presents itself, help me to be ready to introduce them to a relationship with You for Your Word promises me, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” (John 12:32 KJV) In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to be an imitator of Christ. Do not allow your family members, friends, or strangers to cause you to misrepresent Christ due to becoming frustrating by their lack of belief. Instead, stand firm on your belief, “show” them Christ in your graceful and humble walk, and they will soon see for themselves that Jesus is the answer.

Do you have a hard time evangelizing to others because you turn them off with Bible bashing? Have you been able to meet people where they are to introduce them to Christ? Share your story with us in the comment section below.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Remember Where You Came From

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As a professional, Mrs. Khalilah Burton is a College Biology Instructor. She is also currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Higher Ed and Community College Leadership. Khalilah is passionate about her faith journey and uses this key scripture as her inspiration: “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 KJV) She and her husband serve as Co-Service leaders and Co-Group leaders of SustainedLove, which supports marriage get-a-ways from Family Life. Khalilah also serves as a guest speaker and panelist for various events for women and Christian empowerment. Khalilah resides in Millbrook, Alabama with her wonderful husband Donald Burton, Jr. and their two daughters. They attend Vaughn Forest Church. Check out Khalilah’s Christian weight loss blog here.

Contentment, Gentleness, God's Protection, Kindness

Content in Uncomfortable Places

“Excuse me? I have to meet you where?” That was my initial reaction when I was asked to meet my client at a relative’s home in a trailer park.  The client was currently displaced and I had to meet her where she was temporarily staying.  How many times has God had to meet us somewhere we had no place being.  I must admit I was a bit unnerved.   This was a “sketchy” part of town.  I have traveled to many homes, projects, public housing and even hotels.  However this trailer park made me feel quite uncomfortable. It was someplace I had never been.

As my client poured out her heart about really needing to see me, and this being the only place she could meet me I thought of God again.  Sometimes we are in desperate need of God seeking Him, needing Him, but not able to get to Him.  Thank God He comes to us.

 “Even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:5-8 NKJV)

How many times have we been in a situation that we were unsure how we got there in the first place?  For example, we were involved with an individual we were not supposed to be with or stuck at a job that we were too good to be working? This does not have to be a physical place because it can be mental as well.  Have your thoughts and your mind ever been someplace they had no business being? God comes and meets us and delivers us from all these places.

As I arrived at the place, it was just as I expected.  I was uncomfortable.  There was a smell that greeted me at the same time my client did.  The only place to sit was a soiled mattress so I decided to stand.  As I looked around at the various species of crawling critters that covered the wall and ceiling I began to think, “Just make it through this visit and it will be over.”  This is a temporary situation.

But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.” (Philippians 4:10-11 NKJV)

I realized that if I could make it through this uncomfortable place I was in temporarily that I would be able to move from there and go on with my life.  That is what I have decided to apply to other areas of my life.  Uncomfortable situations are temporary so be content!

Dear Daddy,

I want to come before You thanking You for coming to rescue me from some of the “sketchy” places I have allowed myself to frequent.  I come before You asking that You will continue to put me in uncomfortable situations so that I can recognize and appreciate when I am in my place of comfort. Continue to bless me even in the messes that I continue to get in! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today I EMPOWER you to be content in what seems like a “stuck” situation knowing that God will remove you from it. Also, learn to meet people where they are just as God has done for you.  People do not always need you in the midst of a clean place in their life. Sometimes you have to be able to walk into the dirt in order to clean them up.  Encourage yourself and others to be content even when it is uncomfortable because it is always temporary.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Making The Best Out of A Bad Situation

Has God placed you in a temporary situation but you are struggling with contentment? Share your story with us in the comment section.

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Ms. Sherita Shelton currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s in Professional Counseling and is currently pursuing her counseling license.  Sherita works as a therapist and case manager for children as well as adults.  She facilitates groups for single women and offers mentoring and individual counseling for her clients.  Sherita’s favorite Bible verse is Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lot not on your own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

Attitude, Family, Forgiveness, Friendships, Gentleness, Growth/Maturity, Patience, Relationships, Self-Control

Don’t Let It Get To You!

This week I had a different EmpowerMoment to send but my spirit was so vexed by a current disagreement that I honestly could not complete it. I woke up at 5:00am with a vexed spirit and even tried to participate in a prayer call at that hour but couldn’t mumble a word. My mind has been consumed with this disagreement and it’s consequences.  Have you ever been in a situation where as much as you tried to take the high road, be the bigger person, and have patience with a person none of it worked?  After all of your bending over backwards and being accommodating, you were still mistreated and your kindness was mistaken for weakness. This is where I find myself on today. It isn’t the first time that I have been on the receiving end of someone’s dishonesty. Today I am doing my best to not let it get to me. That doesn’t mean that I am being a door mat. It means that I will be honest and won’t change who I am based on who they are. Throughout life, we will bear the unfortunate brunt of false accusations, mistreatment and abuse from so called friends, family and co-workers. As I sit back and reflect, I know that this is an attempt to throw me off my ‘A’ game. This is an attempt for the devil to get to me. The fact that I was so mad that I couldn’t pray and my spirit so vexed that I couldn’t finish my EmpowerMoment signifies that the devil has already started making headway; however, I serve notice right now that no weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. Isaiah 54:17 KJV

When people mistreat you, talk about you, or scandalize your name, it’s okay to defend yourself but don’t let it get to you! To paraphrase Luke 17:3, when people trespass against us we are to let them know their actions and IF they repent, forgive them. Forgiveness is a choice so you can choose to do so with or without their repentance; however, you are responsible for holding people accountable for their actions against you.

I know who I am. I am bossy and at many times stubborn but what I am not is dishonest. There are certain traits that each of us have that are a part of our character. We cannot move from that foundation. We have to stand in truth despite attacks on our character. And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32 KJV The truth is liberating. Being authentically who you are is a freeing experience. You cannot control other people actions but you can control your reaction. I used to be this “go-off”, “cuss you slap out” person but I know I’ve been changed. Every now and then I can get caught up, but I try to handle situations as diplomatically as possible even when the flesh urges me otherwise.  I encourage you to do the same. Pray for those who despitefully use you, but don’t let it get to you! I am reminding myself of that today.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for reminding me that I will face adversity even from those closest to me but those things should never change who I am or react in a way that is not pleasing to You. Help me to stand in truth even when it is difficult. I ask that You repair rifts caused by discord and heal those who are still scarred emotionally from people who have mistreated them. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today I EMPOWER you to get over it. Remain firm in who you are and committed to the truth. Don’t Let It Get To You! The longer that you hold on to what people do to you, the more you will hurt yourself. You are better than that!

Ms. Chancee` Lundy currently resides in Atlanta, GA and is a small business co-owner of Nspiregreen, LLC an environmental consulting firm. She is also a dedicated daughter, sister, friend, community servant, and child of God. She is passionate about causes that truly uplift the community. One of her favorite scriptures is Hebrews 11:6: “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”