Daily Devotional – 8/31/17 “Be mindful of those!”

There is somebody, probably one who is real close to you, underestimating the fire in your belly. They look supportive, they sound loyal, they show up to the celebrations, they comment their congratulations and they even wear the shirt with your logo. But deep down, they do not really believe you’ll do it. They don’t have faith in your ability to accomplish all the things you have planned and they are only standing close by just in case you do. See, if they ‘act’ supportive, they will feel obligated to be blessed by your blessing. Please note, this is not for those true supporter who are there through the wins and the losses but these are those who make the sly remarks thinking you didn’t hear them. These are those who always agree and then says but. These are those who say, “I’m with whatever you want” instead of giving you sound advice. These are those who half smile when you show them the speech you’ve prepared in advance. These are those who do not understand why you’re thanking God for something you haven’t gotten yet. These are those who question your loyalty to worship. Be mindful of those!

This is why you have to be careful the labels you place on folk and those you allow to be placed on you because a friend has a responsibility to love at all times and a brother/sister to be there in difficult times. Don’t take my word but trust God’s because the bible says in Proverbs 17:17, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a difficult time?” This means when I mess up, you don’t leave me but you still love me. This means when you fall short, I still love you. This means you love me even when I am weak. This means I still love you even though you promised not to drink again but did. This means you love me when you catch me buying that stuff I said I’d never use again. This means I still love you even when you take your trifling spouse back. This means you’ll love me despite my choices. This means I will love you even when you are dirty and you will love me, mess and all because we love one another at ALL times. This also means, family, you don’t allow meaningless mess to divide our relationship because a brother (sister) was born for adversity. This means you may be mad at me, sister, but you will still show up in my crisis. I may be angry at you, brother, but I am still coming when you call. You may not like me, sister, but you love me enough to fight for me. I may get sick of you begging, brother, but I’ll still help when I can. You may get tired of me messing up, sister, but you will still clean me up. I may chastise you but I’ll still feed you. And we may not talk every day but when we do and you hear the pain in my voice, you show up. That’s a true sister/brother-friend. Be mindful of those, they are the ones you keep!

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Daily Devotional – 3/23/17 “Friend, brother or both?”

The bible says in Proverbs 17:17, “A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.” But what does this mean? No, for real; what does this really mean? Have we ever stopped to think of what these titles, we so loosely give, mean? Because here in this scripture, it clearly defines the difference between a “friend” and a “brother” yet many times we tend to blur the lines. See, a friend has the responsibility to love me through hard times but a brother/sister is born to help me weather the storm of difficulties and misfortune. A friend is there to love me through tribulations but a brother/sister is supposed to help pull me through my difficulty. A friend, he/she is supposed to still love me if I happen to face trouble but a brother/sister is supposed to be there to help me shoulder the load. This is why you have to be careful with putting yourself into the role of somebody’s brother and sister and who puts themselves in the role for you. Please understand, I am speaking on the terms of being connected by the blood of Jesus and not DNA because DNA makes us family.

Look, I can’t call myself a sister to you if I jump ship the first time you do something wrong. The same way you can’t call yourself a brother to someone who face you’ll slam the door in, if they happen to let you down. A brother/sister is born for adversity. This means, when I’ve messed up, I don’t need a friend saying, “I’m here for you,” over the phone but I need a sister who can wrap her arms around me while saying, “let us figure this thang out.” I don’t need a friend who text me to say, “I’m praying for you,” when all my stuff has been thrown on the street but I need a brother who shows up with a truck saying, “I’m here.” I don’t need a friend who sends the heart emoji when my heart is breaking from my marriage ending but I need a sister who’ll show up with a bottle of wine and some words to talk me off the ledge. A brother or sister helps, protects, encourages, teaches, corrects, uplifts, prays AND loves like a friend. This is why, if you know you can’t handle the mandate of brother/sister, stick to being a friend because “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”