The Gossip Cycle\He Say, She Say

gossip

Grace: (Phone ringing from a distance) Hello! Hi Lydia? It’s been a while…

Lydia: Yes, it has; I hope you have been well considering….

Grace: Considering what?

Lydia: What I heard from Judy!! My oh my! It would help if you told me you are getting a divorce.

Grace: Me? Divorce? No, I am not!

Lydia: Well, that is what Judy told me yesterday when I met her at the salon.

Grace: I am not getting a divorce; if anything, Judy is the one who told me her husband was cheating on with the waitress from the local restaurant.

Lydia: What? I always knew their marriage was too perfect to be true. It is a shame even with her hot body, the husband is still cheating.

Grace: Can you imagine? I am happy I never signed up for her useless gym membership.

Lydia: Well, be careful with her; she is soiling your name. Let us catch up later over a cup of coffee.

Grace: OK. See you soon!

(Immediately after)

Judy: Hello?

Grace: Is it true that your husband’s mistress works at our local restaurant?

Judy: What?

Grace: What do you mean what? Lydia says that.

Judy: That ….! How could she? She knows who I am in this town.

Grace: Calm down; make sure you don’t mention my name. Bye!

(Hangs up quickly)

And it goes on and on, a never-ending story.

The gossip cycle could go on and on with the main culprit starting the fire standing so far from it, admiring the flames. Lydia is a clear definition of a true gossiper; they create trouble, invite others into it, then when things go haywire, they get themselves out of the drama and watch those involved fight each other almost to death. Death? Yes, end of friendship and trust that eventually leads to a divided community; Proverbs 16:28 “A perverse person stirs up gossip, gossip, separates close friend.” Over what? Just a wrong or even right word uttered out of context or without wisdom.

Jesus and his works were also victims of gossip. Many people, including His disciples, would question who he was and whisper. Being omnipotent, Jesus knew that the questions being passed around. He did not touch on it being a gossip. He took it upon himself to clear the air, asked them the same questions they have been whispering about, triggered a discussion, and clearing the rumors. So if you ever find yourself being gossiped about, know that our Lord Jesus, too, went through it.

In Ephesians 4:29, we are instructed,” Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what helps build others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” This simply means that since what you may be saying would be true or has an ounce of truth, it is best to keep it inside and not talk about it if it is not building or informative. The book of wisdom, Proverbs 11:9 says, goes on to say,” With their mouths, the godless destroy their neighbors, but through knowledge the righteous escape.”

In James 1:26, it is written that it would be pure deception to self and worthless if those who consider themselves religious cannot keep their tongues controlled. Like a horse is guided with the reigns, so should those who believe themselves “religious” can hold their tongues. Furthermore, James 4:11 further insists, “Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.”

How do you then deal with a gossiper? One thing you could do is tell them straight to the face that you are not interested in talks that discuss others. This could work if you are bold enough to face them. When applying this tactic, you need to be ready to face rejection or vulgar response. They could also act cold altogether, so be prepared.

Alternatively, you could ignore them until they read the non-verbal communication and stop. Adamant gossipers have learned to ignore this cue, so you need to be consistent with the non-verbal. My favorite way of getting away from gossip is excusing myself. Another way of dealing with gossipers is to sit them down and let them know the implication of their actions. I also try to put them in the shoes of the person they are gossiping about to feel their pain and stop altogether. At times, they have not analyzed the damage of their words, and when I put them in the victim’s shoes, they get sorry, and some vow to change their behavior.

In all you, whether you entertain a gossiper, remember, those who gossip with you about others will also talk with others about you.

What is prayer?

prayer

What is prayer? Prayer is communication with God, our Father. Communication is the key to a good relationship with anyone. Imagine you do not need to make an appointment to speak to the most-high, an excellent opportunity we all take for granted. Matthew 7:7 says, “asks, and you will receive.” Everything we need in life can be ours; start receiving by communicating with God.

Jesus taught us the basics of prayers that guide us through day-to-day life. One instruction is not to show off about our prayer life. “When you pray, do not be like those who only pretend to be holy. They love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners. They want to be seen by others. What I’m about to tell you is true. They have received their total reward. “When you pray, go into your room. Close the door and pray to your Father, who can’t be seen. He will reward you. He sees what is done secretly.” – Matthew 6:5-6

What does prayer exactly do in our lives? It helps us endure trials and temptations. When the disciples went to the Mount of Olives, Jesus asked them to pray so that they do not fall into temptations. (Luke 22:40) You see, Jesus, the son of God, also prayed to God, and one of the most crucial prayers was when He asked His Father to remove the crucifixion cup away from him. Luke 22:42-46 “Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but your, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And in agony, he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling to the ground. He rose from prayer and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow. And said unto them, why do you sleep? Pray, lest ye enter into temptation.” Therefore, clearly prayer is our source of strength.

Prayer is therapeutic. Can you imagine being able to “rant” to an individual who is more superior to you but humble enough to lend you a listening ear and grant you the answer you need; without judging? We are instructed in Mark 11:24 “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”You need to note that what we received after we have prayed is dependent on the level of belief. So the ingredient to answered prayer is asking but asking in faith.

An integral tool of getting closer to God is through prayer. It is one of the channels of direct communication with God; we know Him more and His ways through prayer. The Bible says, “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” Psalm 145:18.

Most importantly, the fellowship and communion of saints are very dependent on prayer. Prayer is crucial to keeping a close-knit relationship with each other. When Jesus resurrected, and before the Holy Spirit’s coming, the disciples were praying in the upper room. Prayer kept the disciples and followers of Jesus in unison

Finally, if you are struggling with prayer, worry not; you can reap the above benefits with what Jesus taught us in the Lord’s prayer in; Matthew 6:9-13

“This, then, is how you should pray:

”Our Father in heaven,

Hallowed be your name,

Your kingdom come,

Your will be done,

On earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts,

As we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation,

But deliver us from evil .”

Calm Down Before Your React

It’s said that anger is a loaded gun pointed towards oneself. The average human behavior implies, ”for every action, there is a reaction.” However, it is essential to note that a human being should distinguish from the rest of the world and be an individual of excellence; one must know when to react. You need to hold esteem that not every person or situation requires you to respond at the back of your mind. Some problems require you to walk away; some require you to be quiet, while some will require you to watch and learn. When you look into the lives of successful people, they rarely react to everything. Even dogs do not bark at every stranger.

But is anger sin? While an individual may annoy you, you need to realize that anger is not a sin. What you do as a result of your anger is what counts as a sin. If you are the type who turns violent or speaks profanities, or even does outrageous things that you may regret later, then what you do is considered a sin. More so, staying in anger until the sun goes down or even prolonging for days is a sin. In Ephesians 4:26-30, 26 ”In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27, and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need. 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what helps build others up according to their needs may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice”

Fruits of the Holy spirit sum up a person’s character, one of which is the fruit of self-control. Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law.”Therefore, even in anger, when we exercise self-control, we react in a mature and grown-up manner. When James the apostle talked about anger, he said that human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Does this mean that resultant action interferes with our journey to righteousness and be like God? Yes, it does.

In many instances, people who are fast to react in anger are like fools. Moreover, we have been instructed not to associate with hot-tempered people. Proverbs 22:24 “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person; do not associate with one easily angered.”

Jesus cautions against anger and even advice not to give an offering if you have pending issues. In Matthew 5: 22, “But I tell you that anyone angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.”

In the words of Deborah Ann Belka;

The Gift of Self-Control

May the gift of self-control,

Be something, daily you present

May you show self- restraint?

When others do things, to upset.

May you manage your temper,

When others have lost theirs

May you defuse the situation

whenever tensions, start to flare.

May you hold your own tongue,

when others are being rude

may your silence, be what alters

the unpleasantness, of their mood.

May you harness your pride,

when others egos’ are inflated

may your constraint cause . . .

their arrogance to be deflated.

May the gift of temperance,

you give to others everyday

may you have self-control . . .

no matter who comes your way!

2 Peter 1:5-6

“And beside this, giving all diligence,

add to your faith virtue; and virtue

knowledge; And to knowledge temperance;

and to temperance patience; and to

patience godliness

Our Attitudes Determines Failure Or Success

When Cain and Abel gave their offering to the Lord, Abel’s sacrifice was accepted while Cain’s was rejected. Cain was outraged, but instead of asking himself why his sacrifice was rejected, he killed his brother Abel. His sacrifice was rejected because he was not grateful enough to give his best. Eventually, his attitude caused anger, a murderous spirit, and a lifelong curse.”

At times, we find ourselves in the shoes of Cain, wondering why others are more blessed than we are. However, we focus so much on them and forget to check our spirits and heart as we give. It is in giving that we receive. In what measure and why do we give? Do we do it as a necessity? Is it religious practice? Is it to show off? Or is it from the depth of our hearts?

While at the temple in Jerusalem, Jesus was amazed at an old woman who gave all she had. In Mark 12:41-44, “41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were placed and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people THREW in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and PUT IN two tiny copper coins, worth only a few cents.43 calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had.”

The attitude of the woman while giving thanks attracted the attention of Jesus. In case, you are wondering why God loves a cheerful giver. It is essential just as a form of courtesy; no one likes to be ignored. Let us not have an attitude of entitlement; instead, let’s have an attitude of gratitude. “Each of you should give WHAT YOU HAVE DECIDED in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God LOVES A CHEERFUL GIVER.” 2 Corinthians 9:7. When you are a cheerful, well-prepared giver, then whatever you give in gratitude to God is like a sweet-smelling aroma to the heavens that God readily accepts.

We show gratitude to God by taking care of what he has given us—ranging from how we take care of our bodies, environment, finances, skill, and the list goes on. The better we take care of what we have, the more doors we open to being entrusted with more. It has never been a case of the rich getting richer. No! Rather, how do we manage what we have, and does God feel he can trust us with more?

A parable told in Matthew 25: 14-30; A master went on a journey and gave his servants talents to take care of while he was away. To one, he gave five talents, to another two and yet to another, one talent. Skills and talents are given based on their ability of the receiver. This proves that God is our creator knows us, so he gives us talents based on what we can handle. Each of the servants had the liberty to do as they please with the talent they received. The one with the five skills doubled them in trade. The one with the two also doubled his; unfortunately, the one who got one talent went and hid his talent bitterly criticizing his master. When the master returned from the journey and demanded an account of what he had given them, the two who doubled their skills were well celebrated and given much more to add to what they had doubled. The servant who hid his talent, the little he had been taken away from him and given to the one who had ten skills. The attitude towards your blessing is a determinant of our success.

Bear in mind that God does not need our gratitude; He is the master of all things and is capable of surviving without us. If anything, he has a choice of withholding blessings from us. It is essential to be GRATEFUL for all he is doing in life. An attitude of gratitude opens doors for more in our lives. An overflow of SUCCESS!

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Simple Tips To Reduce Stress And Anxiety

1-Sipping a hot cup of tea: chose from chamomile, peppermint, lavender, or lemon balm

2-Reading a motivational book

3-Sleeping: even the creator rested on the seventh day

4-Socializing: Reach out to the people that love and care about you

5-Practicing proper breathing, try the 4-7-8 technique

6-Enjoying what nature has to offer you: enjoying walks, hiking

7-Proper nutrition: Replacing fast food with whole foods

8-Exercise: strengthen your body, stretch, tone, and rebuild

9-Replace negative thoughts with positive ones, put yourself in a happy place

10-Recognize your triggers; what makes you tick?

11-Face your fears, conquer them

12-Seek professional help: everyone has strength and weaknesses; allow someone who is qualified in a particular field to help you

Tips For Personal Growth/Success

1-Put god first: Whatever plans we make, he is the one who approves or disapproves.

2- Making mistakes: Accept the fact that it is okay to make mistakes. There is a lesson in every error.

3- Focus: Focus on the solution, not the problem. Mistakes are inevitable; what makes a huge difference is how you handle a situation.

4- Your attitude: Develop an attitude of gratitude: prove that you appreciate what you have. Blessings will continue to flow in your direction.

5- Your past: Leave the past behind you; it merely prepares you for a new level. Drop the past and embrace a future of opportunity.

6- Invest in yourself: Take care of yourself. (Your diet, exercise, and work toward achieving your goals) If you can’t love yourself, why should others love you?

7-Self control: Do not allow emotions to ruin your future. Some somethings are just out of our control.

8- People’s opinion: Do not let people’s opinions of you determine your future. Suppose you have the desire to do something, focus, and begin your journey.

9- Socialize: We need people in our lives. Hang around your role models. Your friends tell a lot about you choose wisely.

10-Timing: there is nothing called perfect timing; during our difficult times, he carries us.

11-Give: You get out of life what you give

12- Familiarity: Get out of your comfort zone. If you continue to do the same thing daily, you will get the same results. If you are looking for a change, you should also change your routine.

IT IS OK TO LET PEOPLE GO!

A little boy had picked from their kitchen garden a few cherries. He excitedly ran to his mother with so much joy and a banana smile across his innocent face. On seeing him, his mother was curious as to what would make her little boy that excited. Holding the boy on her lap, she realized that it was the cherries, but there was a problem; they were unripe, and based on her experience, the cherries were likely to be sour. She tried taking them away from the boy, but it was such a difficult task; even when she eventually succeeded, the boy burst into uncontrollable tears, not knowing that she had his best interest at heart. Mother rose and went into the kitchen where she got the little boy ripe and cherries that enjoyed eating forgetting, the agony, and the pain he previously went through on losing out on the cherries he had earlier picked.

In life, goodbyes are the hardest, yet at times, more essential in our lives. Most times, we tend to look at them from a negative perspective. As if we are losing something or someone. In most cases, if we have lost someone to death, we are sure that we will never see that person again, at least not on this earth. In relationship cases, it could be either way; we may lose someone, miss their friendship, and not be in their comfort zone for a while; however, on the other side, it could open the doors of opportunity. Opportunity to usher in new life, new growth, meet new people, accomplish stalled goals, and tick the to-do on your bucket list.

Like the mother to the little boy, we get so excited when we meet new friends who end up being part of our lives at a time in life relationships. We run to God, our father, and just like the little boy’s mother, He tries to caution us on some of the relationships we choose.

In Isaiah 46:10 (New International Version), “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.” This, in itself, should be the main reason why we should always trust in God in all our relationships since He knows our end from the beginning. Further-more in Jeremiah 1:5 (NIV); “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you before you were born, I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” We assure that nothing is new to him, and his advice for us is always positive. Our future is in his hands because he knows us. When he directs, it is time for us to say goodbye to someone, a career, a job, or even to leave a place; we have to employ the Abrahamic type of faith; go without looking back and trusting no-one but God.

There are times when we may not get the closure of saying actual good goodbye, but it may come automatically by drifting apart or even silence. It signifies the end of a season and the ushering in of a new one. It also means that the mandate of that particular person in our life has come to an end. When God sends an angel to take you through a season, they move on to the next assignment once their purpose ends. The scripture says in Ecclesiastes 3:1- 8 (NIV), “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.”

One thing that gives me the courage to let go of things, opportunities, or people is that God opens another when one door closes. When God wants to move you from one glory to the next, you will have to shed the weight of your past level for Him to propel you to the next one. The more you hold on to your comfort zone, then you deny yourself the opportunity to soar to more significant, higher heights.

So when you feel that you will lose a friendship or are unsure of what will happen next, allow God to lead you; he is the shepherd and you the sheep. Remember, He says in the book of Joshua 1:9 (NIV), “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged; for the LORD, your God will be with you wherever you go.”

With this, I can confidently tell you; it is OK to LET IT GO!

Are you blocking your blessings?

Countless times we have found ourselves questioning the level of blessings in our lives. At the back of our minds, we presumably comfort ourselves in the thought of “I have done everything by the books. Why am I not being blessed?” Not realizing that there is more to the blessing than just doing the right thing. More to it than just what we see with our naked eyes. After all, it is the spirit that informs the natural. So the question we may need to ask ourselves is, what exactly should we do to receive the fullness of God’s blessings in our lives?

The first step is to exercise faith. At times, it gets so hard to focus on the goal a midst life turbulence. You see, we all begin where Peter began, taking a big step of faith and getting into the waters, looking to Jesus. The moment he lost focus and looked aside, he began to sink where he previously walked.

Matthew 14:29-31: “Come,” He (Jesus) said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on water, and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, began to sink and cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

We have all had such moments in life where we leap big only to lose sight when almost reaching the goal. We need to keep focusing on the ultimate prize and keep holding on to the faith.

Did you know that your lack of forgiveness can hinder your blessing? A story told in Matthew 18 of a servant whose master forgave all his debt. Forgiveness automatically earned him the benefit of freedom from prison and debt. The servant, on the other hand, did not extend the same. As a result of this, his blessing of freedom earned him some jail-time, shame, and regret.

Matthew 18:32-35: “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ His master’s anger handed him over to the jailers to torture until he should pay back all he owed. “This is how our Heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

When we walk in forgiveness, we unlock our blessings and catapult ourselves into the blessings of the next realm. Unlocking our faith is also based on how much you forgive and enables you to reach the blessings you desire.

Mark 11:22-25: And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass. Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”

Not leaving your past in the past is one of the things that will hinder your blessings. There is a saying that life inspired people to learn from the past but do not live there. Let bygone be bygone, they are necessary to mold us into being our best.

Philippians 3:13-14: Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before 14. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Isaiah 43:18-19: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing something new! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. The past also clouds our vision from seeing new and better things in our future. I guess that is why the rear-view mirror in a car is smaller than the windscreen. Unlocking the future and its blessings is all dependent on you put your past behind you.

Isaiah 43:18-19: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing something new! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

Selfishness is yet another hindrance to your blessings. Since the main principle in the Kingdom of God is based on giving, it would not hold water if you claim to be of the kingdom but do not do the things of the kingdom; giving.

2nd Corinthians 9:7: Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

In giving to receive a blessing, you have to provide cheerfully with a pure heart.

Luke 6: 38: Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you

We serve a big God who is well able to supply our needs according to His riches in Glory. However, it is for us to take the initiative and unlock these blessings by getting rid of all the hindrances to our blessings and preparing ourselves accordingly for the abundance of blessings that awaits us ahead.

PERSONAL GROWTH; WHAT IT ENTAILS!

There are times in life you may feel like you are unwanted or unloved? Well, I have personally had this feeling one time too many. It is not a good feeling, and we all have had such an experience one time or another. Things will happen; what is essential is how you deal with situations. How do I overcome these feelings whenever they want to spoil my day?

Understanding yourself is the beginning of life wisdom. Many are times when we succumb to these feelings because of not understanding yourself and not knowing your self-worth. When you know who you are and your self-worth, nothing and no one can bring you down. How do you understand your self-worth? One of the simple ways I do is to take personal time and grow yourself. When you take time with yourself, you get to understand who you are and your uniqueness. Self-knowledge includes what you say about yourself. Challenge your inner voice. Always say good things about yourself as many times as you can. You have the power to change and influence the events and circumstances of your life with the words you speak. Once you do, you have great self-esteem and self-confidence. You can stand out in the crowd.

Another way to grow your self-worth is to surround yourself with positive people. The saying is, iron sharpens iron, so if you are not hanging out with iron, then you should question yourself. Precisely how do you identify the right crowd to socialize? It would be best if you hung out with people who do not always see the dark side of life but rather, those that find one reason why an idea must work. The type that learns from the past but does not live in it. They live in the present but don’t accommodate it. Chose your friends wisely; they can influence your future.

If you hang out with a crowd that always sees the dark side of life and the difficulty in every project, you are in big trouble. More so, if they are the type that never takes risks and are secure in their comfort zone, you should run. Such people will infect you with their negativity, and sooner than you know it, you will join the army of failures.

Most importantly, celebrate your achievements. It will not only help us appreciate ourselves but also provide fuel and morale to achieve more. If there is no one to celebrate you, by all means, look at yourself in the mirror and part your own back. Be it making your bed, doing the dishes, graduating from that online course, or even sealing a lucrative deal; celebrate. Once you learn to celebrate your achievements, you will realize your confidence level also grows. You end up doing more and achieving more in the long run.

As you embark on the journey of personal growth, begin with these simple tips and let me know in the comment section how it goes for you.