Kindness, Love Series

Love is…Kind

For the first two weeks of February, EmpowerMoments will be doing a series entitled Love Is.  “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV) We pray that you are EMPOWERED, enlightened, and blessed as our writers share what Love Is based on God’s Word!

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Recently upon exiting the grocery store, I noticed a lanky young man standing near the entrance/exit.  He was wearing a thin jacket or  and jeans, and I think he had on a hat but no gloves.  He looked as if he was either waiting on a ride or possibly waiting in the store until the bus came.  Outside, it was snowing and very, very cold.  I could see he was cold and I felt empathetic towards the young man.  I thought if I am cold with what I am wearing, surely he is cold with what he isn’t wearing.  He was not dressed warm at all; he had on no layers of clothing.  I immediately wanted to help him in some kind of way.  I pulled out my black gloves, one of the few pair I keep on me, and gave them to him.  He gratefully took them with no problem and I was relieved that at least I could help keep his hands warm.  Nonetheless, I prayed that God would keep him completely warm as I finally exited the sliding doors.

Whether someone blesses you with a night off from preparing dinner for your family (see Better TO GIVE Than TO RECEIVE), blesses you with the money to meet a financial need, blesses you with money for a new coat like I was blessed with or blesses you with encouragement to make it through a lonely or hard time, love is showing itself by its kindness.  Whether you bless a shelter with barely used clothes, bless someone with a smile and a warm hello, bless someone by babysitting her child so they can get some rest or bless someone who doesn’t have transportation with a ride to church, you too are showing that love is kind.

If love and mercy had a child, it would be kind.  Being kind is showing sympathy or understanding, being considerate, agreeable, generous, beneficial and charitable.  However, kindness is more than just doing nice things for people; it is BEING kind no matter what.  We are to be kind even to the people who talk about us, look at us sideways, and get on our nerves.  I’m not saying be naïve or gullible, or even let people abuse you, but remember that kind is a characteristic of God and kindness is one of the fruit of the Spirit.  “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.  If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. (Luke 6:27-29 NIV)  So as daughters of the Only Wise God and King of kings, we are to exude His character and become more like His Son every day.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for Your loving kindness.  Thank You for being mindful of me and genuinely concerned and compassionate towards me.  Show me how to continually and genuinely exude Your love, mercy and kindness to others.  Give me the grace to be kind no matter what the situation or how a person is before me.  Daddy, please also give me the discernment to know when and how to show your kindness to others.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to be K.I.N.D (Keenly aware of others needs, Integritous, Nice and Devoted to God).  Show God’s unfailing love every day.  Someone needs your smile, your hug, your attention, your prayer, your help, your extra pair of gloves, or that spare coat you haven’t worn in a while.  Most important, they need to know that the Lord loves them and He died on the cross to save them and have eternal fellowship with them.  

Find ways to demonstrate God’s love to others every day.  Please visit http://www.volunteermatch.org  if you are interested in finding opportunities to volunteer with nonprofits.

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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 helps assist Chicago Public School students with their reading, writing, etc. as well as helps them consider and prepare for college. God, the Creator and Great Father has also created her to be a compassionate person and encourager 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.”

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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.

Back To School Series, Honesty/Truth, Kindness

Back to School: Let Your ‘Soul’ Glow

School has begun for most students across the world so EmpowerMoments is featuring a series entitled “Back to School”. Read this week as our writers share stories and learned lessons from their school-related experiences. Come and get on our EmpowerMoments school bus!

But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. (Acts 5:1-5 KJV)

Later in this story we find out that Ananias’ wife Sapphira told this same lie and died instantly too. Sometimes we really don’t understand the consequences of a “little” lie. What seems harmless at first can have unintended consequences. When I was ten years old I was fascinated with the idea of getting a Jheri Curl. Don’t laugh. I really wanted one, so much so, that I lied to get it. See there was one small catch to converting to a Jheri Curl. To get a Jheri Curl, you had to wait at least three months from your last relaxer. When the beautician asked me the date of my last relaxer, I made up some date that I thought would meet her approval knowing full well that I had just gotten a relaxer a few weeks prior. Everything was going fine as I felt the “curls” and juice hit my neck. Then came the announcement: “I’m going to cut your hair because the curl didn’t take. It looks like you must have recently gotten a relaxer.” Snip – “sniffle sniffle,” Snip-Snip – “sniffle sniffle.” I was crying as I saw my hair hit the floor below. Why did I lie when I had the chance to tell the truth? How was I going to go to school with no hair? I didn’t want to face anyone. If only I had been truthful.

Just as I imagined, school was harsh the next day. The more people teased me about the “teeny tiny, not quite curled Jheri Curl” the more I cried. The guys were particularly harsh and the girls followed suit. I was sent to the guidance counselor and she let me sit in her office all day. She tried to make it better but nothing could convince me that it would get better. I couldn’t understand why people were mistreating me. I was still the same person on the inside. The smart, funny, tough little girl — yes, that was still me. I just had a new hair-do. Sure my outward appearance was awkward but that didn’t change who I was internally. As time passed, my hair grew and the jokes subsided but I learned valuable lessons from the experience: all lies have consequences and to judge people based on who they are on the inside and not on their outer appearance.

Throughout my matriculation in school I found myself in different places in these situations: the person being lied to, as well as the person mocking someone else. Can you find yourself in either of these situations? The lie you willingly tell to get what you want. You manipulate a situation because you aren’t patient enough to wait until the time is right. You maneuver things in your favor and they don’t quite turn out like you want. Maybe you are like the kids at school. Have you ever mistreated someone because they didn’t fit your appearance standards? Their clothes weren’t up to date, their hair wasn’t what you would approve, you judged them based on what sins you believed they were guilty of or maybe you made fun of them just because of others. In school, these traits are all too common but these aren’t traits of the King’s kids. Lying, manipulating, vanity nor judging are pleasing to God. Remember everything that glitters isn’t gold.… for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. (I Samuel 16:7 KJV)

Dear Daddy,

Forgive me for the times when I have been dishonest or manipulative to get my way. Thank You for loving me enough to provide opportunity for correction and opening my eyes to learn the lessons. When I place myself in a seat to judge others based on their outward appearance, remind me of the times that others mistreated me based on my outward appearance. Give me the courage to speak truth even when the outcome may not favor what I want. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to reflect over your life and recall the times you manipulated a situation to make the outcome favor you. Repent and ask God to remove that spirit from you. I also EMPOWER you to treat others based on who they are on the inside even when their outward appearance doesn’t meet your standards. Strive to be more Christ-like looking at character instead and let your ‘soul’ glow!

Can you relate to this EmpowerMoment? Did a lie that you told come back to haunt you or maybe you were on the receiving end of other’s harsh judgment? Share your story with us.

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Ms. Chancee` Lundy lives in Washington, DC and is an entrepreneur as she is the co-owner of Nspiregreen, LLC, an environmental consulting firm. She is also a dedicated daughter, sister, friend and community servant. She has used her gift of public speaking to lead workshops across the globe speaking to crowds as large as 10,000 people. Her guiding scriptures this week are Philippians 4:11-13 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

Assignment, Generosity, Growth/Maturity, Kindness, Love, Obedience, Servitude

Maybe I’ll Say Yes…

“Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others…”(Philippians 2:4 NIV)

I’m pretty sure that many would agree that 2012 is passing by at a quick speed.  Not only is time passing by so quickly, but life is full.  It’s very easy to be too busy with life, family, work, church, and other responsibilities.  Almost every person I know—young, old, male, female, married, or single—complains about how busy he/she is.  When one is busy, which seems to be always lately, there is not enough time to fit in every responsibility and others too.

How does one find time for anything anymore?  The safe thing to do is say ‘no’ to anything extra, especially those unplanned and spontaneous opportunities that pop up.  We couldn’t possibly say yes right?  We have to go to work, clean the house, pay some bills, or we are just plain ol’ tired.  Well here is a wise and friendly reminder courtesy of the Holy Spirit.  Sometimes those things that spontaneously show up are opportunities for the Kingdom of God to advance!

The things you will be rewarded for in heaven are not the houses, cars, clothes, bank accounts, or careers that you attain here.  The things that will matter most are the things you have done for others because of Him.  Calling that elderly person who has no family and talking to them for a while, inviting your child to lay in the bed with you while you watch a movie and share laughs, giving a single mom who needs a break a twenty-five dollar pedicure, or writing an EmpowerMoment for a friend who didn’t have enough time to write one are those things that matter most.  Taking every chance to walk in love and express love to others is one thing that can surely move my Father’s heart!  Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart. (1 Peter 1:22 NIV)

This EmpowerMoment was given by the Holy Spirit at an unplanned and spontaneous time.  I was on my way to sleep when I received an email from one of my team members.  She was so honest and genuine in her request for help and although I was tired, the Lord said otherwise.  I must agree that a time like this is when you get the best testimony and juiciest experience.  I’m glad that when my sister called and asked for my help, I paused before I spoke the word ‘no’ and replaced it with a ‘yes’ so that this reminder could get to you.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for Your unfailing love!  I thank You for giving me the wisdom to know when I need to proceed and say yes.  I thank You for giving me the heart to love and express love towards others.  I pray I continue to trust You and follow Your lead each day as You bless me with more opportunities to give You glory and express Your love.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, the next time something pops up unplanned and not on your agenda, I EMPOWER you to do the following: Pause and Pray.  Ask the Holy Spirit for discernment and instruction of what the Father desires for you to do. He may give you the go ahead of saying ‘no’ or maybe He will make you replace it with a ‘yes’.  Try it and see what happens!

Are you finding time to have these kinds of experiences?

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Mrs. Lisa M. Purnell-Marshall is happily married to the wonderful and inspiring Antoine L. Marshall. She is the proud mother of two gorgeous girls. Her voice is one of the leading and authentic voices for breast-feeding, especially for the African-American community and Generation Y. She currently works inside of her home and plans to become a professional licensed lactation consultant in 2014. She and her family are members at Spirit of Liberty Church located in Markham, IL. Embracing the love that God has for her, Lisa labors to live an acceptable and pure life through the leading and keeping of the Holy Spirit so that her attitude, words, and actions attract the glory of God. In her free time she loves receiving manis and pedis. Her favorite promises that she find comfort and reassurance in are: Psalm34:19: “A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all” and Luke 6:38: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

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.”

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, Co-Workers, Gentleness, Growth/Maturity, Kindness, Love

Be a Change Agent

“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18 NIV

I wrote some time ago about the weird practices that take place at my job because of budgetary constraints.  One of the bizarre things is the trash collection procedure. At my past jobs, thorough office cleaning took place outside of normal business hours. However, here the daily cleaning consists only of emptying the trash in each cubicle and the trash man comes around while everyone is busy working at their desks. This would not irk me so much if he didn’t roll his huge industrial sized trash can INSIDE my cube to collect the trash. This has to be the most disgusting thing ever! I would get so irritated and angry whenever I heard the wheels rolling toward my workspace. You may be thinking that I am overreacting but imagine this germ-ridden trash receptacle brushing up against your coat that is hanging on the wall of your cubicle as the garbage man tries to squeeze it into your tiny space. I had gotten so annoyed that I was beginning to resent him for what he was doing everyday—his job.

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2 NLT

One day I finally figured out that my attitude and annoyance was not changing the situation; in actuality, it was only making it much worse. It was at that moment that I decided to do my part to change. I started setting my trash can outside of my cubicle each morning whenever I heard the wheels coming in my direction. I couldn’t change his habits so I changed mine! That scenario reminds me of the countless situations where we deal with difficult people or things. We become so frustrated by the way that someone is acting and the idiotic things that they are doing. If we are honest, we have even allowed ourselves to react to their senselessness in ways that are embarrassing and unacceptable. But there comes a time when we have to make a declaration to change: God, if You are not going to change this situation, change me! Change what, you ask? Change your thinking, your heart, your attitude and your reactions. Mary Engelbreit said it best: “If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.”

At first the garbage man was a little taken aback by my new approach. He seemed a bit surprised that I was “doing his job” for him. But as time passed, he began thanking me for helping him out. It has even gotten to the point where he gets a little testy if he “pulls up” and my trash can isn’t outside. This is the wonderful thing about changing the way that you act in a difficult and annoying situation; your actions may eventually change the way that the opposition views the situation as well. They may never tell you, but your behavior has the potential to drastically alter their thinking.

In the header scripture, Paul writes to the Romans advising them to live at peace with everyone as much as it depends on them. Can you honestly say that you are doing YOUR part to fulfill this nugget of scripture? We are called to a higher standard of living and we must uphold the integrity of the Gospel, even when we are dealing with difficult people and situations.

Dear Daddy,

Please forgive me for the times that I reacted to difficult situations and people in a way that was contrary to Your word. Going forward, please help me act in a way that is pleasing to You and glorying to Your kingdom. Lord, if You are not ready to change _________, please help me to change the way I think and act about them/it. I know that Your will is what’s best for me! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, you are “perfect”, now CHANGE! 🙂 Today, I EMPOWER you to change your thinking, change your attitude, change your heart and change the way that you respond. Those difficult situations and people will not have so much negative influence and power in your life if you allow the change agent to have His way in your life! When the situation doesn’t change, you must decide to change!

Mrs. Kristen Harris is a wife, mother, entrepreneur and dedicated servant.  She is extremely passionate about women’s spiritual advancement, hence the founding of EmpowerMoments.  As an avid reader, Kristen enjoys reading the Bible and other non-fiction pieces. Her driving inspiration is when God says to her: “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  (Jeremiah 29:11) She currently resides outside of Chicago, Illinois with her wonderful husband and two lovely daughters where she is an active member of New Life Covenant Church.