How often do we blame our own actions for shutting doors of opportunity? If you’re like me, and I don’t think I’m alone on this, we don’t assess our role in not gaining favor very often. We consider everything else; the economy, work politics, company policies that are biased, and glass ceilings. All of which have their place in these discussions, but we neglect to focus on the one thing that we can control: ourselves. We miss it all when we don't position ourselves for favor. Self- awareness is crucial to personal, spiritual, and professional growth.
How do we position ourselves for a life of favor? By being honorable. One preacher said, “We turn away favor because we dishonor people.” When I heard this statement, I first of all thought, 'oh that can’t be true'. I couldn’t imagine that I dishonor people, but the right question to ask was: “Do I honor people?” That's a whole different perspective. Honor means to regard with great respect and to fulfill an obligation or keep an agreement. Do you honor people? The way of the world is to look out for yourself and claw your way to the top. The way of God’s word is about honoring people and being honorable.
How do you conduct yourself at work? Are you the one who makes it your second job to fault find. After all, the person who shows respect to the leader is looked at unfavorably. People say, 'he or she sucks up to the boss.' The truth is there is no leader that is perfect. We know this already, and yet we are offended when evidence to support this fact is in front of us. Only Jesus Christ is perfect.
“Why do you ask me about what is good” Jesus replied. “There is only one who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.” ~ Matthew 19: 17
We are all human. A title before your name doesn't change the imperfection of human nature. I had to repent from being judgmental in this area. I used to put leaders on a pedestal and was often disappointed. I didn't understand that God’s favor is what exalts us not our own abilities. Isn't it interesting that the media shows us champion CEOs, game changers, and genius type leaders? Yet the Word shows us servants of God, equipped by Him to do a job. Moses wasn't a Harvard graduate type, but God chose him. We look at the outside but God looks at the heart. That's the favor of God. It takes a person who isn’t good enough and makes them more than enough.
But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not —to nullify the things that are,so that no one may boast before him. - 1 Corinthians 1:27-29
The bible holds all the instructions that we need in this life. The commands are written to make our lives free from unnecessary hardships. We are to show our employers and leaders true respect. Could it be that’s how we gain favor? Consider the story of Joseph, everywhere he went God gave him favor. As a slave in Potiphar's house, he was put in charge of everything, he was so trusted that the bible says Potiphar basically gave him the keys to his estate (Genesis 39). As a prisoner, Joseph was so trusted that the prison officers allowed him to run the prison (Genesis 39: 21). Could it be that Joseph was honorable? Choose today to reflect a Christ like attitude towards your workmates and superiors. God will reward you, stand on his promises.
"Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart." ~ Ephesians 6 : 5 - 6
Let us be trustworthy in all our dealings. There's a saying, 'Your reputation precedes you.' People hear about you from people they are close to and their opinion is formed. What would people say about you? Would they recommend you for an opportunity? A lot of times we are not in the decision making room. We need other people to advocate on our behalf even without being asked. Does your character speak in favor of you?
A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold. ~ Proverbs 22:1
Does this mean we should be a people-pleaser? Not at all! Far from it. We are to live according to the word. How should we be? The bible gives us some tips that will never fail.
Be diligent, focus on doing a good job, don't be lazy about your work. Proverbs basically says, dealing with a lazy person is annoying. We turn down the benefits of opportunities by lacking effort about the way we live life. If dealing with you is annoying because you're just not motivated you miss out.
"As vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so are sluggards to those who send them." ~ Proverbs 10: 26
Sharpen your skills. Refuse to be mediocre at what you do. If that requires gaining more formal education, or reading more books around your industry, do it. Excellence is always noticed.
“Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank.” ~ Proverbs 22:29
Be teachable. The world says, 'fake it till you make it.' Basically, pretend you know what you’re doing. The word of God says, "Humble yourself and He will exalt you." (1 Peter 5: 6) People should want to have you around. They should want to teach you stuff because you are instructable.
“Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.” ~ Proverbs 15: 22
Seek out the God given vision for your life. People who are clear about their purpose exude charisma. Never accept to just drift along, you will die emotionally, mentally and spiritually. We must be excited about the instruction that God has given us and faithful to our calling. We have something to contribute to humanity. Something exciting, and uniquely carved out for you. There is power in a dream/vision. The moment you see yourself, you've broken through because faith by definition is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11: 1). Once you see it, you can believe it. And once you believe it, nothing is impossible for you (Mark 9: 23).
"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he." ~ Proverbs 29:18
God grants favor to His people. To love God is to keep his commands (1 John 5: 3).
"How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. " ~ Psalm 119:9
What can you begin to do today to position yourself for favor?
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