Attitude, Black Music Month Series, Fruit of the Spirit, Growth/Maturity, Motivation, Self Forgiveness

I’m Changing

June is Black Music Month! To celebrate, each of our EmpowerMoments will be based on Black music for the entire month. This includes Black songwriters, producers or performers. Stay tuned as we use various genres of Black music to tell our stories and exemplify the beauty of God’s love! Happy Black Music Month! Dance as if no one is watching!

I always find it interesting when I hear people tell other folks around them that they’ve changed. It’s almost as if we should be avoiding change like the plague. When did changing get such a bad rep? After all, as Christians, aren’t we called to be transformed and changed? (See 2 Corinthians 5:17)

Can you reflect on the previous 12 months and say that something about you has changed for the better? Has your attitude and disposition become more positive? Do you have more faith? Have you told less lies? Have you been a more loving wife? Have you become more patient with your children? Are you a better steward of your finances? What about you is evident that you are changing?

As you ponder that question, let’s visit one of the greatest stories of change in the Bible as witnessed in the life of the Apostle Paul. His change was so dramatic that his name even changed. Paul started off as Saul, a persecutor of the Christian Church, but was changed…

Meanwhile, Saul was uttering threats with every breath and was eager to kill the Lord’s followers. (Acts 9:1)

He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?” “Who are you, lord?” Saul asked. And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” (Acts 9:4-6)

So Ananias went and found Saul. He laid his hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road, has sent me so that you might regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Instantly something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized. Saul stayed with the believers in Damascus for a few days. And immediately he began preaching about Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is indeed the Son of God! (Acts 9:17-20)

If someone who desired and plotted to annihilate the Christian church can be changed and used, surely God has the power to remake you and me!

I think that we often get discouraged because we don’t see growth in every area of our lives immediately, but that’s a trick of the enemy. He likes to make us think that since we aren’t what we ought to be, then we should just give up. No, the key to encouraging yourself is celebrating your progress. Maybe your attitude isn’t always the best, but you don’t curse out the cashier when she screws up your order anymore. Maybe you still have little spats with your husband, but you’ve learned the true definition of submission and apply it in your home. Celebrate how far God has brought you and you will have the motivation you need to continue to press on. Although trite, the colloquialism, “Not what I should be, but thank God I ain’t what I used to be” is our anthem! The word changing indicates that we are going through an iterative process and must be continually remolded and remodeled. Our spin on the Potter’s Wheel is never-ending.

In today’s theme song, Whitney Houston says, “I’m changing, but I need your hand.” Understand that you cannot and will not change on your own. You must have the help of our Father in heaven and the great thing is that He has promised to help, if you only ask for His assistance.

As stated before, Saul was transformed to Paul. I like to think of it as going from Sin to Praise. Remembering how far you’ve come and all of the sin that He has brought (or is bringing) you out of is reason for praise! Even though you are not everything that you desire to be, I dare you to stand up and thank God as you proudly proclaim, “I’m changing!”

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for inspiring and helping me to change. I need Your hand during this process of change in my life. I pray that if there is any area of my life that needs to be changed, that I haven’t submitted to You, that You give me the desire to change it. My ultimate goal is to be more like You every day, so please help me with that constant transformation. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to continue changing! Strive to become the woman that God predestined you to be. When people tell you that you’ve changed, smile and say, “Yes! With His help, I’m changing!”

Read the full story of Saul’s conversion to Paul in Acts 9 and Acts 22.

Reflect on how much He’s changed you as you listen to the late Whitney Houston’s “I’m Changing”

___________________________________________________________________

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.

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.