Archive | January 2013

The Assignment

Lately when I have received messages through any form of social media or when I am reading an article or news piece, I’ve often wondered if the writer has any idea of their level of influence or about how their tone can change someone’s mind. You might be asking yourself “well isn’t that the point of social media or basic communication, to freely speak your peace?”. Well one would like to think that society understands and appreciates the meaning of and the impact that communication has but I beg to differ. I believe that more often than not individuals pull up their soapbox and stand on their personal premise no matter who it affects. Unfortunately you are a minority if you give consideration to the feelings of others before you send an email, post a comment, tweet an opinion or speak directly to someone. I challenge you to ponder this perspective:

Whether you believe it or not, we are all people of influence. Someone is watching you and someone is listening to what you are saying.  Someone is hanging on your every word and someone is depending upon you to be an example. If we could all take the value of relationships and rank it among the most priceless things, we could create change; change for the good of the people. We’ve all heard the phrase that “people need people”. But If I could amend that phrase I would suggest that “people need people who care and who are responsible with how they influence others”.

We are all given assignments in life and these assignments are centered around other people. We must be responsible for the relationships we are assigned. It could be the relationship with your spouse, children, family, co-worker, Facebook friend, twitter follower, neighbor, the friendly cashier at your local store, that lonely committee member, your nail technician or your mechanic. Nothing or no one happens by coincidence, it’s all for a purpose. Whoever it may be, you are responsible for your influence over them. Take care of what you say, manage your influence, realize your impact, and monitor you behavior. Whether it’s the people we know directly or indirectly; we are connected with them for a reason. Cultivate, build up, do not condemn, do not judge, edify, encourage, be gracious, show love, give strength, offer sound advice, stop gossiping and finally, be accountable and a person of integrity.

We are pre-qualified for every assignment  We are given the responsibility of people on a temporary basis, like a loan. They belong to God! Now what we do with the loan is completely and entirely up to us. The fine print of the loan is sixty-six books, front to back, Genesis to Revelations, of instructions, expectations, and examples. The greatest example of all is Jesus! He valued every encounter, relationship and opportunity to help others and his help wasn’t based on his emotions but on the needs of others. After-all, he knows everything about you, yet he has called you friend. John 15:15

I know that thinking of every relationship or encounter as a responsibility may sound like too much work or too complicated but when you are following divine order and seeking to please the one that has shown you perfected love, it all makes sense. Ask yourself these questions before your next conversation, post, tweet, blog, instagram, or tag; What are my motives? Will this help someone or tear them down? Am I coming from a pure place? How would I feel if it were me?

And remember to “be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” Galatians 6:7-8 KJV

Self-itis

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I can only share with you what I go through or what I may actually be experiencing. The reason for that is so that what your read will be effective and authentic. I never want to sit down at my laptop and write purely on the basic desire to write or to be heard. It is all for a purpose. This piece is called SELF-ITIS because I want to discuss with you how it easy it is for us to be so consumed with ourselves that we miss the opportunity to be the best that we can be. According to dictionary.com ITIS is a suffix used in medical terms to denote inflammation. So I chose SELF-ITIS as the title because I believe that self-discipline, self-control, and self-identity lack in thoroughness because our idea of ourselves is inflamed; puffed up if you will and frankly too big for our own good! I have been partaking in a lot of self evaluation and reflection over the last few days as I am participating in a corporate fast with my church home. Fasting has never been my strong suit and I have never been completely successful but I have purposed and resolved to be more than successful this year. Certainly the difference and growth in my spirituality and my walk with the Lord has everything to do with my will to succeed. Yet naturally as I go from day to day fasting and praying I’ve been pressed to question myself about a lot of my habits and choices that I’ve accumulated over the years.

Self-Discipline

Personally I think I’ve lacked self-discipline in some areas of my life because it wasn’t necessarily required in my eyes. I was ok with just getting by and with prolonging or delaying my destiny. My thoughts weren’t even disciplined enough to envision where I could be. I had accepted the old adage that everything and everyone has their process and that we can’t change it with our actions. Put simply, it’s just been easier not to put self-discipline to work. Discipline requires that we follow rules that we just don’t care for whether it’s at work, school, or especially according to the word of God. Yes, we are in control of own choices, but ask yourself what choices are you making? Are you choosing to lack discipline to satisfy a void. I would bet that if you analyzed why you were unable to exhibit self-discipline that you would discover an area of your life that is in need of improvement or deliverance. Allow me to be vulnerable for a moment. I have lacked discipline in the area of healthy eating and exercising because eating unhealthy and avoiding exercise fills my desire to relax and “do me” which is really code for being lazy! Hebrews 6:12. I would much rather watch three hours of Law and Order repeats (that I’ve already seen at least twice) than to prepare a healthy meal for the next day or to get in an hour or two of exercise. I need deliverance from laziness in this area. I cannot continue to make choices that are harmful to my well being and that delay my destiny and neither can you! We will saturate ourselves in excuses until we drown in them. Don’t use excuses like “I’m only human” or “God knows my heart” to allow your flesh to be a mess! Lack of self-discipline is a result of habitual selfishness and will ultimately ruin you! Proverbs 5:23 I also at times lack discipline concerning shopping. Shopping means that I have options and having options validates having more than enough. When I don’t have options, there is an evident lack. I was in lack of a lot of things for a long time and frankly I don’t want to identify with that. I want to exercise my options frequently and I want to exercise these options the way that I want to.  However this type of behavior denotes that God’s grace is sufficient. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Self-Control

Just how well do you control your impulses, emotions or desires? We have a responsibility to be self-controlled. 1 Peter 1:13 During this time of fasting and praying I have really gotten a real idea of how out of control I am. An antonym for self-control is anxiety! Wow! Therefore those things that I lack self control in, I am anxious about. Clearly going against the instruction we’ve been given to ” Don’t be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Phillipians 4:6 And yes this applies to everything so no matter how small or big you may consider that area in your life that lacks self-control, you must pray about it and release it. This applies to that habit, that relationship, that caffeine, that sugar intake..whatever it may be, gain control over it and no longer let it control you. Over indulgence of things makes it near impossible to be without them. Indulgence is another form of drunkenness. Avoid drunkenness and be sober-minded with great control.

Self-Identity

When we realize exactly who we are and tap into the greatness that awaits us, we live among destiny and the promises for our lives. 1 Peter 2:8-10. You are great, you are fearfully and wonderfully made, you are more than a conqueror, you are the lender and not the borrower, you are the head and not the tail, you are the flavorful salt of the earth! Be great! Apply self-discipline, self-control, and self-identity to your daily life and “Don’t think less of yourself but think of yourself less” Rick Warren.