I live my life by a code. Anyone who knows me knows this is the truth. They may not like me, they may not like what I stand for, but even my detractors will tell you I am honest, I care deeply for others, and I have a humble heart. Trust me I have received enough hate mail over the years to back this statement up. The best letter I ever got sent to my home was in 2011 from “anonymous” and as this “friend” who felt she needed to keep her identity a secret lamented about all I do wrong, she complimented me on how “terrific” (her words) of a human being I am. Go figure.
Yes, I live my life by a set of timeless values and virtues that start with my faith in God, and end with a code that I believe is embedded in every human beings DNA: A code of honor, wisdom, fidelity, and love. And although I make mistakes frequently (boy do I), and I am human, flawed, and at times stupid just like the rest of us, I am always willing to own my part, do my part, apologize, forgive, ask for forgiveness, support, uplift, encourage, sit by a bedside, hold a hand, lend money, give second chances, be that friend that sticks closer than a brother, and to restore. Your true blue friends will be there. Love is an action verb it is NOT a passive noun.
Save yourself the heartache of false friends, or fake ones who do not really want to do the work of friendship. You see friendship also has a CODE. It supports, it encourages, it cares, it loves, it protects, it touches, it speaks life, it builds, it lives. I had someone tell me recently that they “prayed” for me and that God hears their prayers so there was no need to speak to me or comfort me, or check on me. WOW. WOW. and WOW again. I mean my jaw was dropped to the floor. The truth is too many people, particularly “spiritual people” feel this way and act this way. They have let themselves off the hook by saying, “I prayed for you” now leave me alone. How sad. You do not want people like this in your life. Prayers are good, and we always want prayers–but people who care about you, love you and are there for you–will always SHOW their love by what they do. You will never have to beg them, manipulate them or guess how they feel about you. You will know. Love and friendship, is what love and friendship does! You would not send a hungry man away would you? You would not, not cloth a naked woman and her kids would you? The word tells us that people know our faith by our works! Faith, love, and friendship without works is dead.
I live my life this way. I do. And as I have been reflecting a lot over the past weeks, I realize that you attract into your life what you are. Do NOT MISS THIS. I took a good look at the front row in my life, my best friend, my family, my sorority sisters, the love of my life, my colleagues, my sister friends, my big brothers, and myself. And what I realized is that the people I love most, the people who truly have my “back”, the people who are there for me through thick and thin, financial woes, health woes, life woes, and just the simple dramas we all encounter are people who share my CODE. I was pleased to realize that I have a really good front row. Really good!
My advice to you today is to take stock of who is in your front row, and who may need to be moved back a few seats, to the rear or out the exit door. This is critical. I assure you that 100% of your happiness or unhappiness in life will depend on WHO you love, WHO loves you, WHO you are friends with, and WHO is a friend to you. PERIOD. Ask yourself these questions and make a decision today to only keep those close to you who care for you, lift you, and build you.
1. Is this person there for you when you need them? Are you likewise there for them.
2. Does this person speak life to you, encourage you, support your dreams even when you may be in doubt or fear?
3. Can you count on this person to be there in all the seasons of your life, not just the good seasons?
4. Does this person give you lip service or heart service? You need people in your life that lead with their hearts.
5. Can you trust this person with your secrets, your reputation, your life, and your heart? Will they guard and protect your heart as they would their own.
6. Lastly, is this person a TRUTH teller? Wounds from a friend can be trusted but an enemy multiplies kisses (Proverbs). Never forget that.
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