GIVE: Fortify By The Spirit — Know When to Shield Your Strength

GIVE! … By the Spirit™ with Dr. Pennie Murray

Know When to Shield Your Strength

© 2010 Pennie Murray

March 16, 2010


Shield yourself from negative people

I ran into someone I knew a couple of days ago and stopped to talk. During the course of our conversation she asked me a question. I can’t remember the context of the question, but I responded by telling her that my strength came from a life-long desire to be an example to my children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. I wanted to leave a legacy they could reference within their own family. She belittled my comment with a condescending remark that my desires were “quite lofty” and that I should reassess what my strength was built on.

I’m not sure whether she was implying that either I was incapable of such a task, that having such a desire was mere folly or maybe she was upset that I didn’t break out in a theologian discourse about my love for Christ. As the woman continued with her cynicism, I found myself somewhat perplexed and insulted by her attitude. However, I knew I was under no obligation to stand there and allow her to nibble away at my strength, and the belief I had in myself. I also gave myself permission not to make an effort to defend myself to her. Instead, I abruptly, but lovingly, ended the conversation. I gave her a hug, told her to be good to herself and I walked off.

That evening, the local news station was doing a story relating to Women’s History Month. The news anchor led the segment with the statement that business, social and economic experts are saying our society is primed for women to make great progress as entrepreneurs and business owners. The news segment continued with an interview of Sandra Yancey owner of eWomen Networka professional woman’s networking company. Ms Yancey stated that 80% of women miss the mark of their success because they don’t believe in their abilities and won’t make a commitment to be successful. Most importantly, women fail to align themselves with the right people. I instantly thought about my encounter with that woman earlier in the day and how many other women she might be negatively influencing. Not a good thing.

My mind reverted back to the word lofty, which means exalted with a high purpose, dignity, or character. It also means to be arrogant and haughty. Maybe the woman I was talking to thought my desires were arrogant and haughty—but then she has a right to her opinions. On the other hand, I am very clear that God has tasked me with a higher purpose.

If you’re reading this that means you too have been tasked with a higher purpose than your present circumstance. You have also been given a higher level of dignity and a character that can endure what some may deem impossible, as well as the strength to fortify those who may need to be built up. Therefore, it is very important to shield the strength that is intended to carry you through to the fulfillment of your purpose and beyond. In other words, to reiterate Ms. Yancey’s statement, you cannot align yourself with everybody.

God has elevated you in style, tone and sentiments, and few can actually breathe, let alone, comprehend at your level.  So it is imperative that you not let just anybody dip from your well of strength (this pertains to your life, love and success) merely to pour it out on the ground. Even trying to defend yourself to negative others is a waste of strength, especially when they have a preconceived notion of who you are.

Over the years, I have found that the most important thing to learn in life is when to shield your strength from naysayers and well-meaning, but misinformed others (this includes loved ones). To put it bluntly, when people try to discourage you or demean your sense of self, sometimes you have to feel comfortable enough to put your shield up and tell people, with Spirit, “Get the hell out of my dreams and out of my way!” and continue to allow Spirit to elevate you.

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