Daily Devotional – 8/9/16 “Who’s in your circle?”

I’m sure I’ve shared this before but I’ll gladly share it again … You need to surround yourself with some folk who will dance for YOUR blessing. You need to be around some folk who can pray your tail out of some stuff when you start acting ignorant. You need to have some folk around you who can discern others when you’re too blind to see it. You need to have some folk who knows the real you no matter how ‘they’ try to scandalize your name. You should have some folk, ready, to go to war with you in the spirit. Pastor, you need some folk connected to you who won’t look at you differently if you happen to open a beer instead of a bible. First Lady, you need some folk, outside the church, who understand what you’re going through and won’t judge when you don’t feel like being holy. Baby, you’ve got to surround yourself with some folk who understand you, no matter what your title is. You’ve got to have some people around you who will celebrate and cry with you. Some folk who will tell you, in love, you’re being stupid. Some folk who won’t mind telling you, in love, you’re messing up. Some folk who will tell you the truth instead of pacifying your wrongs. You need some folk around you who can be trusted.

This is not just for those in ministerial positions, this is for everybody. You need some trustworthy friends around you that although they may not call every day, you know they still have your back. This includes family too. Look, I don’t need you around if every time you get mad, you tell my faults. I don’t need you, if you only show up when it’s good but not when it’s bad. I don’t need you, if you can only eat with me when it’s fancy restaurants and I’m paying and not when it’s sandwiches at the house. Nawl baby, you just stay over there because I don’t need you to only show up at the victories but I need you in the valleys too. See, when you surround yourself with good people, they won’t mind letting you refill from their saucer because they know they have plenty left in their cup. When you are in the company of good people, they won’t tell nobody the times you’d had to lean on them. When you are in the presence of good people, they’ll put their hand on your back to keep pushing you, those times it seemed you stayed still too long. When you’re in the presence of good friends/family, they’ll support you no matter what or where it is. This is why you have to be sure of those with you. If they can’t walk with you, they shouldn’t be able to fly with you.

“A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.” –Proverbs 17:17

Circle

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Daily Devotional – 5/11/16 “Friend or foe?”

Last week in bible study, we began the book of Job. As I studied, I found it interesting that most of the beginning chapters are the conversations with Job and his three friends. What was also interesting was the judgment his so-called friends passed. I mean, here they come acting as if they really cared; they did sit with him for seven days and seven nights without mumbling a word but oh when they did, the first thing they suggest is that Job must have done something wrong and sinned against God because innocent people don’t suffer. After Job begins cursing the day he was born, the first friend replies saying Job you’ve always encouraged others during their times but now that trouble has struck you, you can’t handle it. Job listens because he believes encouragement is coming but Eliphaz then begins trying to convince Job to confess his sin. He says in Job 4:8, “My experience shows that those who plant trouble and cultivate evil will harvest the same.” In other words, he’s saying Job must have sown trouble because it’s what he’s now reaping; all because Job’s glitz & glamour was gone. Yet, isn’t it crazy how quick folk will judge you in your trouble but wasn’t saying a word when they were reaping the benefits of your good? This is why I asked the question in bible study, “How well do you know your friends?” Can you answer that?

Think about it. Job loved these friends and called them brother but when he needed someone to comfort him, they cursed him instead. When he needed someone to lean on, they pushed him off. They came to see what he’d done to cause God to punish him, not to offer words of encouragement. And some of us are surrounded by folk like this. Yea, they act like they love us but wait until trouble comes. They’ll start whispering stuff like, “I didn’t know she’d do something like this,” or “He sure did have me fooled, I thought he was one of the good ones.” These kinds of folk are only around to benefit off your favor. They won’t come and pray for you but they’ll show up to pimp you for information. They don’t show up to console you but it’ll be more like confronting you. This is why you have to be mindful of who’s around you. You have to examine folk, now days, just to ensure they are willing to go through the good and the bad. You do know some folk are only hanging on to you for the good, right? They are there as long as you’re serving steak but starting offering ground beef and see what happens. Baby, you have to get somebody around who can pray you out of trouble when you can’t, encourage you when you’re hurting or who’ll tell you when you’re wrong. You have to get someone who’ll be willing to go to war (spiritually) on your behalf and not be the one cheering for your enemy! How well do you know your friends?