friend

You Have A Title, But Do You Know Your Name?

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For years, I was so focused on having a “quality ” job. When I was in college I strategically planned out my professional career path. I wanted to make sure my resume was golden. I packed my life with extracurricular activities, leadership positions on campus, and other things for accolades. I wanted to prove I was worthy of an awesome job. I saw how my older sister struggled to get a quality job right out of college during the recession and I vowed to myself to never let my circumstances determine my outcome. I had paid internships at large companies, became an RA on campus and during my last year, I decided to squeeze in a second job. In other words; I was a hustler.

All this paid off, and when I graduated from college in 2012 I had a great job, awesome benefits and a salary making over $40K- straight out of college! I was at the prime of my life. I was 22 years old living the “American Dream.” Until one day my “American Dream,” my job, was shaken. Everything I knew was in a state of uncertainty. My faith wavered and the enemy got into my head. I was diagnosed with depression and my doctor put me on an anti-depressant. I felt like I was living without being alive. It was a very dark time in my life and really felt distant from God. Since I was down I was unable to seek God, I decided to chase another job. One with more money and more security…..so I thought. I ran to a job that paid $50K a year. The money was great but the work was not. It was a sales job, and they were more concerned with profit rather than people. There were some unethical things going on. I only lasted there for a few months before I finally decided to leave. So long story short I went from making 40k, to 50k, to being unemployed in less than a year.

I’m not going to lie, I was torn up! I had to move back to my parents’ house in my hometown, sleeping in my childhood bed. At 23 years old I was at my lowest point. And that’s when God began to break me. For weeks, I didn’t sleep regularly. I stayed up all night and day applying for jobs. I kept trying to get out of my current situation, without seeing God as my main source of help. Even though I was going to church, reading scripture I wasn’t truly applying it. So when I was applying for jobs I got turned down each time. It wasn’t until God revealed to me what my underlined confliction was- Pride.

I prided myself on my job titles, my accolades, and all my other accomplishments. I thought surely if I held these job titles at other companies, another company would want me. When job hunting got me nowhere, God had to humble me. He had to show me I do not control my destiny, He does. He had to show me a job title was not my identity.

“Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” Proverbs 11:2

I read scripture after scripture on pride and humbleness. I also had to read about plans and patience. Then I began to fast and seek the Lord in prayer. I didn’t realize what a strong hold pride and patience were for me. By being unemployed for a few months, I was blessed with this time to grow spiritually. Even though it didn’t feel like a blessing at the time, I now know it was all in God’s plan. God was keeping me the whole time.

Now I know a job title doesn’t define me- it’s whatever God calls me that matters. He titles me and gives me a name, which is way greater than any title a job can give me.

7 Names God Calls Me:

1. He calls me chosen. 

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.” (Colossians 3:12)

2. He calls me beloved.

“The beloved of the Lord dwells in safety.” (Deuteronomy 33:12)

3. He calls me His child.

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.” (1 John 3:1)

4. He calls me friend.

“… but I have called you friends…” (John 15:15)

5. He calls me His workmanship.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)

6. He calls me His treasured possession.

“The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for His treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.” (Deuteronomy 7:6)

7. He calls me His daughter.

“And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me, says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:18)

So sis, before you let a job stress you out, before you go chase the next job with a more prestigious title remember this- God has already named you. You are a child of God. Don’t forget that.

Love you all!

Stay blessed,

Patrice McKenzie
patrice@areyoushe.com

Source- http://www.whatjoyismine.net

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Friend Or Foe?

friendsFriendships are one of the most sacred relationships in a person’s life. The Bible provides examples and scriptures on what a friend is and how to be a good friend. Today the word “friend” is used loosely. It can be used to identify a best friend or acquaintance. There are many types of friends, but the best type of friend is a godly friend. Christians need godly friends in order to support each other to live a Christ centered life.

So how do you find “Godly Friends”

It’s simple- Ask.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7         

When I was in college, I had one foot in the world and one foot in the Kingdom. I definitely lived a lukewarm life. I did not know how to be all in for God so I continued this pattern, which lead to emptiness. Finally, one day I prayed for girl friends that had hearts for Christ. Friends that didn’t want to go to the club every weekend or drink to get drunk. I wanted to be around godly women who would hold me accountable. Finally I prayed for these friends, and I got them! It did not happen over night. It took a few months. God works in His own timing. For the few months of loneliness, I was able to grow spiritually and emotionally in my walk with Christ. My last semester in college, I was introduced to the campus ministry and started attending Bible study.  There, I connected with a few girls who were as hungry and eager for God as I was. It was great! Instead of going out on a Friday night we had game nights and Bible studies. It was a good start to build my relationship with Christ. The best part is, we are still friends until this day!

How to determine if they are “godly Friends”? –Discernment

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17,

If she is living for Christ, holding you accountable, trustworthy, and loyal there is good chance she is a godly friend. If there is a separation in her spirit and if she is not helping your walk she’s not a godly friend. If you slip up and are not living in a way that honors God, she should pull you away to teach you and lead you on the path of righteousness. If you are a true friend, you would do the same because you care about her salvation and walk with the Lord.  The Bible talks about how to correct wrong doing in a believer.

If another believer[d] sins against you,[e] go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses. If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church.” Matthew 18:16-17

A true friend will do this for you and vise versa. Pray for discernment to recognize the characteristics of a godly friend.

Can I still be friends with my worldly friends? – Honestly, everyone can not bang with you..

If I warn the wicked, saying, ‘You are under the penalty of death,’ but you fail to deliver the warning, they will die in their sins. And I will hold you responsible for their deaths. 19 If you warn them and they refuse to repent and keep on sinning, they will die in their sins. But you will have saved yourself because you obeyed me.” Ezekiel 3:18-19

I chose this scripture not to be deep or prophetic, but to illustrate how real God’s Word is. Anyone who is not living for Christ (the wicked) can cause you to stumble in your walk, especially if you’re not strong enough to combat all the darkness that comes with it.  If they love to gossip and start drama, that can get in your spirit and then cause you to gossip.  The Bible says:

“Gossip separates close friends” Proverbs 16:28

If a friend asks you to go to the club and you know your spirit is unsettled in that type of secular environment, don’t accept her invitation. Do something else. Go to the movies or out to eat. You control the environment. If you surround yourself with people that don’t have a heart for Him it will rub off on you.  If your friends with someone that is discontent with himself or herself it may cause you to be discontent too. Soul ties happen between friends.  At the end of the day your lifestyle should separate you from nonbelievers.  If you’re not bringing them to Christ I’d strongly advise you to step back and give that relationship to God.

Lastly, How can I be a Godly Friend?- Love your Sister in Christ.

“Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.” 1 Corinthians 13: 4

 A sister in Christ is a woman that is a godly friend that you now consider her as a sister. You now consider her blood. You care about well being and her walk. I’ve used this term a lot with my godly friends who have expressed and shown their commitment to Him. I love them and want them to grow closer with God. By showing love I must be patient. An example is when my Sister in Christ, Ashley, was looking for a job. I wanted to give her advice as to what I thought her purpose was. I sent job postings of positions she had no desire to do, but I thought she’d be a good fit for. Then God convicted me. He told me to let Him work. Ashley’s faith in Him was enough and I had to have faith too. Not too long after she got a job, by the grace of God, not because of me. By expressing all these attributes in a godly friendship you are being more and more like God and less like yourself.

So ladies, friendship is a sacred relationship. Seek godly friends, continue to be godly friends and love your Sisters in Christ.

By Patrice L. McKenzie

patrice@areyoushe.com

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