CHOOSING WISELY Including your friends

By Marsha J
“Get ready to step into a new place. You’re challenged now but it’s preparing you for where you’re going.” This was prophesied to me by one of my pastors, Reverend Levene Elliott. I grew up feeling like the biggest dud. I did not get an A in any subject. I was not a typical beauty. In fact, I remember asking one of my teachers, back in high school, if she thought I would succeed in life – she hesitated. That is all I remembered from that encounter and it stuck with me. The following years would prove to be extremely depressing.
Favor according to dictionary.com is “an act of kindness beyond what is due or usual… feel or show approval or preference for”. Adolescents and youth are the period in your life when you are just figuring life out. You are discovering what you like and do not like, what works, what does not, and how to be. I would call it your #failforward years. You are no longer a child, but you are not fully an adult either and that can be so perplexing, not just for you but for the adults around you. So how do you ensure that the networks you are creating now will be favorable for your future success?
Having the favor of God upon my life is my ultimate desire; and it should be yours too. He is the first and last, the ultimate influencer and celebrity of our universe. In my song ‘Favor’, from the same title album, I declare “I’m walking in your #Favor and your glory,taking back all my territory” – like Jabez who prayed in 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 and he cried out “Bless me, O bless me! Give me land, large tracts of land. And provide your personal protection—don’t let evil hurt me.” God gave him what he asked, the Message Bible states.
So how do you make choices that put you in the favor of God, and your fellow kings and queens, here are some tips that you can be guided by; they work for me:
Maintain a strong, healthy relationship with your God. Have a relationship with a higher being.

Be selective with the people you choose as friends. Bishop T.D. Jakes states that there are three kinds of friends, confidants – someone who you can trust, who always has your absolute best interest at heart. These people are usually very few, but often we misplace people in this position. The second kind is constituents – these are people who are for the things you are for. This means you both share something that you believe in. The third and final is comrades – these kinds of friends, he explained, are individuals who are against the things you are against as well. Choose your associates based on the future success you desire and not just for your today lifestyle.

Continuously assess the people in your life. Sometimes we make the mistake of hoarding people. That is, holding on to them for way beyond their time. Some people are in your life for a reason, others a season and many I believe are consequential and circumstantial. We are all resources to each other, if you must hold on to people, hold on those who build you up, fan your flames and serve a purpose in your life purpose.

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