Daily Devotion: Shake it Off/Influence

Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm

Proverbs 13:20

What is a fool? We all make silly mistakes, but a fool is one who is unchanging, a person who does not learn from their mistakes. It’s important to identify foolishness in others, and stay away from them, as their mistakes or consistent thoughtless actions will eventually burden your life or distract you as well.

I didn’t always think that way, I’m sure many of us always strive to pull up our friends and family members and impart wisdom on them as we learn it. In college, I had a roommate who was truly foolish. I denied it, and worked hard to help her through her self-imposed struggles, especially since we were just in our early twenties. After 5 years or so, I was growing tired of this dynamic, but she moved away so I figured I was finally off the hook. In all honesty, I was struggling to pay my student loans at the time and resorted to dodging the constant bill collector calls I had started receiving. Finally, after months of being harassed by these calls, panic attacks about my finances, and feeling like I would never be able to resolve my outstanding loans, I decided to answer one of the calls. Low and behold, the bill collector asked for my roommate, by her full name. It dawned on me that all of my woes of the last few months (some self-imposed by my own anxiety) was all a result of the irresponsible nature of my ex-roommate, and her sharing my personal information with lenders.

Luckily, the calls stopped after I set things straight with the company, but it showed me that I needed to back away from her.  When I confronted her about it, she made excuses and played the victim instead of apologizing for involving me in her financial troubles. I thought to myself, “sure, it was just a phone call every day for three months, but if I’m being chased by her bill collectors, what else may happen if I stay around?”

Take a serious look at the people around you. Their issues and demons will jump off onto you the longer you stick around them. It’s okay to back away for your peace of mind.


relinquish

love them, don’t enable
that’s more helpful

say less, be unavailable,
pray for them

let Him intervene

Daily Devotion: Motivation/Be About It!

All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.

Proverbs 14:23

About six months ago, I deleted my Twitter and Instagram. God had revealed to me the work that I was destined to do, and yet, I was too busy seeking validation online to actually commit myself. I found that the pressure to post consistently and watching other creatives seemingly do amazing things every day really demoralizing. I realized that our generational habit of seeking validation online or pushing out mediocre product just to stay relevant hinders how much worthwhile work gets done to achieve a goal.

Many people add photographer, musician, entrepreneur to their bio but haven’t actually touched a camera, hit the studio, or sold a product in weeks. The worst part is that for a lot of us, the validation of being perceived as an artist or entrepreneur is enough, since actually going hard and relentlessly stretching to reach our highest potential is way too challenging and scary.

Success only comes from unwavering, self-reliant passion and physical action. For example, being a professional photographer means buying the camera, booking the shoots, taking photos with the fervor of an addict, maintaining (with great discipline) your website, etc. So what if you’ve taken a few cool photos on your iPhone and have a few thousand followers on Instagram? There’s a million others who have done the same. You’re not making a difference or doing anything that will leave a legacy, bless others, or serve a purpose after they scroll past your post.

If the goals you’ve set for yourself and the things you create would become worthless to others or feel pointless to you without someone around to praise you or collaborate with you, it’s time to re-think what you’re really passionate about and commit yourself to embodying the person you want to become, everyday. Don’t just talk about it, Be About It!

Meditation: Take a moment to truly examine your motivation for the work that you do or the content that you create. Do you create solely to make money or be famous one day? Is there a specific difference you feel chosen to make in the world? Would you still be sure of your identity or talent if no one was around to confirm it? Be honest with yourself. It’s never too late to rebrand yourself as your true self. Write down three ways you can Be About It this week!