Friendships, Jealously, Love, Love Series

Am I My Sister’s Keeper?

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?  You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. (James 4:1-3 NIV)

Women can birth a child, successfully run a home and a business, and so much more. But can women have healthy and happy friendships with other women? Many have answered “no” to this question. I can’t tell you how many times I hear another woman say, “I don’t have many female friends because (insert negative stereotype here)”. I have uttered these words myself.

One only needs to flip through the television channels to see women portrayed as manipulative, money-hungry, scandalous beings. There are groups of women who live and die by shows such as Bad Girls Club and the Real Housewives series, but why? Each one of these shows, I believe, tap into the source of where the actions of gossiping, backstabbing and manipulation is birthed.  The source is insecurity and jealousy. You might disagree, but please keep reading. In the opening verse we read that people are really battling with their desires and will go as far as to kill to get what they want. The real source of your discontentment comes from your desire to have more than what you currently have. There’s a difference between having a dream for your life and being envious of someone who has what you think you want.

As women of God we should not envy someone else because she is married and we are single or because she has a nice house and we are in an apartment or because she has a well paying job and we are unemployed. Our God is not limited by our circumstances; He is limited by your faith and your motives. If you continue to envy your sister you are blocking your own blessings. Instead of comparing your life to hers, begin to pray for her (because you don’ t know the cost of her blessing) and that God will remove that spirit of envy from you.

If you do not have positive women in your life you might need to be creative in your pursuit of Godly friendships. My sophomore year of college I felt God leading me to really seek Him, but I didn’t want to do this journey by myself so I started a women’s Bible study called Heavenly Inspired Sisters (HIS). HIS has now grown into a lifelong friendship between eight wonderful women of God who have shown me there is nothing like having a sister in the faith.  Had I not stepped out on faith and started my own ministry I would not reap the benefits of having these wonderful women in my life. I would like to challenge you to get outside of your comfort zone and let go of any excuses of why you cannot be friends with a woman. If you are reading EmpowerMoments, I encourage you to link up with this ministry. We have a Facebook page, a Twitter account and you can send prayers to us right here on the site. You have an avenue to reach out to your fellow sisters in Christ, if you so choose.

Some of My Sisters in Christ

In this season of ‘love’ let us not forget to love our sisters  for we are our sisters’ keeper and it is up to each one of us to make an effort. Remember even Mary, the mother of Jesus, was able to have a confidant in her cousin Elizabeth, Naomi had Ruth, Mary had Martha and so on. The Bible is filled with powerful women of God who had a sister in Christ to support them. 

 

Dear Daddy,                                             

Thank You so much for giving us love in a variety of forms from family relationships to friendships. We pray right now that our hearts will be open to Your Will for our lives. We ask that those who are seeking Godly friendships will learn how to cultivate those relationships so You will be glorified. We ask that You give each woman a spirit of discernment so we know when the enemy tries to play on our emotions and insecurities. We pray for wholeness and completeness in You, for in that we have no need to compare. We thank You in advance. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to love your sister as yourself. It is time to let go of the negative stereotypes we hold of other women and begin to love as Christ would have us to love one another.

Ladies, how has having a sister in Christ shaped your walk? Tell us on FB or Twitter

Celebrate sisterhood with our sister Whitney Houston’s “Count on Me”

Ms. Renee` N. Chaffin is a single mother who has a heart for helping those less fortunate. She has been active in the non-profit sector, whether through volunteerism or professionally, for the past six years.  She is passionate about sharing the love of God, her testimony and empowering people to discover their true potential that was bestowed on them by King of the Universe. Renee` is currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Administration. While on her pursuit of higher education, she is on a seven year journey to challenge God to do ‘exceedingly and abundantly above all she can imagine’ in seven areas over the next seven years. Check out her journey at http://radical7even.wordpress.com. Her favorite scripture is I Peter 5:6: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”

Advertisements
Blessings, Contentment, God's Promises, Gratefulness, Jealously, Patience, Trust, Trusting God

Dear God, What Are You Up To?

Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong. Psalm 37:1 NIV

Let’s have a real conversation; have you ever witnessed people who you knew were not living right being blessed? I am not talking about in the judgmental you are living like I think you should way, but people who confess out of their mouths that they either don’t believe in God or feel that they can live their life anyway they deem fit. They literally tell you, “I do whatever I want” and their lifestyle reflects that.

Now how do you feel when you hear all the absolutely wonderful things that are going on in their lives? Are you just a tad bit envious? Do you want to just have a private sit down with God and go over your resume`? “God remember back three months ago, when I didn’t have a lot of money and I still tithed? Remember when that woman at work talked bad about me and stole a promotion from me, how I prayed that she would be prosperous? Remember that?”

I am currently in a very envious state. I don’t want to admit it but I am. I have been purposely seeking God more, reading the Bible more, attending church, praying…all the things that people say should equal the magical formula of a blessing. You know the Christian math:

Prayer+ Faith =Blessing

Instead my math is looking a bit more like this:

Prayer+ Faith =…wait for it…wait for it…?????

I am still waiting on God for several things in my life. I pray for a good man. I pray for a better car. I pray for healing for a good friend.  Yet, I am still single. My car (although I am grateful for having transportation) is getting costly to repair when it breaks down because they are having trouble finding parts for an older model car. My friend is still dealing with several health challenges.

Truthfully, if I wanted to I could recount every single thing that is going wrong, or things that I am (not) so patiently waiting for God to change, but why would I? When we get into moments where we start to compare our blessings to other people’s blessings we are walking on very treacherous ground.

Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:

“Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.

 Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?  Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?” Job 38:1-5

Ladies, we may never know why God chooses to heal or not heal, to give financial windfalls or withhold, to give you a season or lifetime of singleness. As a woman of God, your task is not to try and figure out why or what God is doing in your life. Your task is to remain faithful, to be steadfast in His Word and cling to Your Father’s Hand. We have a testimony to the unbelievers when we continue to walk in righteous even when it seems like there is no earthly “benefit”. This world is not your home and your wisdom can never compete with your Father’s. When this life ends, who knows what God will reveal to you about your valley times. Maybe someone is watching you in your valley. That person might be hoping to see you succeed so they can believe that God will do the same for them. You rob that person of being encouraged by your efforts when you doubt, complain or even worse when you take certain earthly shortcuts to get what you think you need. The most important thing to remember is that God does everything for our good.

Dear Daddy,

Please keep me from comparing my life with those around me. Keep my hand in Your hands as I continue on this journey.  When I am confused, scared or upset guide me to Your Word that will help strengthen me. Thank You for never leaving me especially at my most vulnerable moments. In Jesus’ Name, Amen! 

Lovely Ladies of God, I EMPOWER you to remain faithful. You did not marry Christ for benefits, you married Him for love and just like in any marriage, there will be hardships. Remember, unlike an earthly marriage, your Husband is perfect; He has perfect wisdom and even more comforting, a perfect Love. 

EmpowerMoments is currently recruiting for new writers. If you are interested, please click here to find out more.

Ms. Renee` N. Chaffin is a single mother who has a heart for helping those less fortunate. She has been active in the non-profit sector, whether through volunteerism or professionally, for the past six years.  She is passionate about sharing the love of God, her testimony and empowering people to discover their true potential that was bestowed on them by King of the Universe. Renee` is currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Administration. While on her pursuit of higher education, she is on a seven year journey to challenge God to do ‘exceedingly and abundantly above all she can imagine’ in seven areas over the next seven years. Check out her journey at http://radical7even.wordpress.com. Her favorite scripture is I Peter 5:6: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”

Contentment, God, God's Provisons, Inspirational, Jealously, Prayer

The Long-Eyed Lesson!

Beautiful, gracious and kind! While those words do describe me well, today I am using them to portray my favorite heroine in the Bible. I have loved the story of Esther since I was a little girl. When the King was in search of a new wife, the word proclaims, She pleased him and won his favor. Immediately he provided her with her beauty treatments and special food.  (Esther 2:9 NIV) She was a bad chick!…and I wanted to be JUST like her.  To understand why I wanted to be like her let me tell you a little bit of her story as Queen.

Then Haman said to King Xerxes, “There is a certain people dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom who keep themselves separate. Their customs are different from those of all other people, and they do not obey the king’s laws; it is not in the king’s best interest to tolerate them.  “Keep the money,” the king said to Haman, “and do with the people as you please.” Dispatches were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces with the order to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews—young and old, women and children—on a single day….(Esther 3: 8,11, 13 NIV)

What the King didn’t know is that his own wife, Queen Esther, was a Jew. She hid her ethnicity from him when she was in the running to become the Queen. After finding out about the King’s orders her cousin Mordecai, who raised her, sent her a message to go to the King and plead for her peoples’ lives but at first she was reluctant.

When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:12-14 NIV)

Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai:“Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” Esther 4:15-16 NIV

Well, guess what? Esther did not perish and neither did her people. The story goes on to tell that her people were saved and celebrated and instead the mastermind behind the plot, Haman, was hung on gallows that he originally built for Mordecai.

There are many biblical themes that can be extracted from this text regarding faith, fear, sacrifice, God elevating you to use you and others; however, I am now realizing a more personal theme for myself. My grandmother called it long-eyed or your eyes being bigger than your stomach, meaning you wanted something someone else had even if you didn’t know what it was or had no particular use for it.

Every night, I would go to bed and pray that God would make me like Esther “a savior for my people, use me for such as time as this, Lord use me.” I wanted to be the one to pull my family out of the rut that I felt we were in and I was interested in self-sacrificing causes that uplifted humanity. While those may sound like noble requests, I now realize that I didn’t KNOW what I was praying for. As a child, I saw the glamorous part of Esther in that she was selected out of hundreds by the King to be his bride. She had the opportunity to change the fate of all of her people. People favored her. In the end she succeeded.

Recently my fascination with the story of Esther came to my memory and I realized that my life has taken a similar course and I thought, “Did I become a matriarch in my 20’s because I asked for it when I was 8?”  I often find myself asking God, “WHY does everyone call me and depend on me (family and friends included)?” I get frustrated because it seems as though everyone is relying on me and there is so much pressure to make decisions that quite honestly I’d rather not. I’ve reached a point of acceptance and pray for wisdom and guidance because maybe I too have been called for such a time as this. If this is how God chooses to use me, let me be excited about it. The lesson in this is to KNOW what you are petitioning God for. Are you requesting the “desires” of your heart out of envy or because it “looks good”? That man, new car, job, new house, or friendship may look excellent on someone else but you don’t know what they had to go through to get it or to keep it.  Everything simply isn’t for everybody! When you petition the true Savior, check your motives and your readiness!

Dear Daddy, 

Thank You for being a God that answers prayers! Remind us to pray righteous prayers so that when we get what we ask for, we aren’t upset when we don’t get the outcome that we thought we would have. Give us the wisdom to see ALL of the attributes of what we may consider a “blessing” before we make our request known to You. Let us not be long-eyed! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today I EMPOWER you to continue to seek God about YOUR future and purpose and not the one that belongs to someone else. If you find yourself in a situation where you are The One, walk in it boldly without fear and ask God to grant you the discernment, wisdom, and capacity that comes with the territory.

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.