You needed a very important job done which you were not equipped to do yourself and this wonderful, kind person offered their services or gave you a massive discount. They either agreed to your request or did it out of the kindness of their hearts sometimes even without you asking. You were so grateful that God had sent this divine helper to your rescue.
Then the trouble started. Even though you knew they were capable of doing a great job, they started treating you and your work like it was second class. They took their time and delivered the services late. When you tried to broach the subject, they shrugged you off and reminded you that they were only doing you a favour. Things became uncomfortable, you still needed the work done well and you knew you couldn’t afford to pay anyone else but you didn’t want to cause conflict. Deep down you wish they had not favoured you at all.
Blessed and Highly Favoured is a common phrase used in Christendom. Many Pentecostals and Evangelicals use it as their tagline. Despite this, I have spoken to several Christians in recent times who are wishing certain people were not ‘favouring’ them. So how do you avoid the scenario I have described above? Easy. You do 5 simple things.
1. Know and believe that your favour comes from God not man.
Who favours you, God or man? Look at Joseph, he received favour from men because God led those men to give it. “But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him mercy and He gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison” (Genesis 39:21). Esther was favoured by the king because God positioned her to get it. It is God who causes men to favour you not the men themselves.
Two friends of mine when I first met them made some strange statements. When talking about their visions and dreams, they believed so strongly that someone was going to come out of nowhere and bless them. These statements were strange to me as I am someone who has been disappointed by people so much; I am forced to look to God for the favours I receive. They were holding out for this special person who will open all doors of influence to them.
Of course there are instances where this is true, we all come across men and women who open doors for us and bless us when we don’t expect it. For this we must be grateful to them. But what happened with my friends was that they ended up approaching influential people and informing them that they (my friends) knew from their inner witness that these ministers of God were their helpers to destiny. To date they have not received any divine connections from those men that they thought they deserved.
The truth about God is that He likes to take centre stage in our lives. He desires to get the glory. I have learnt the hard way that if God has to, He will cut of sources of help from people just to get me to desperately seek His help above all things. In those instances when I have been forced on my knees, God has always come through for me with or without people. As I travel to work daily, I ask God to give me favour before my colleagues and my patients. I am expectant of God’s ability to answer my prayers not people.
2. Clarify the terms of service.
Now for the practical stuff. When someone does decide to do you a favour and offers you a service whether for free or at a fee, always clarify the terms and conditions. This does not have to be a written contract. It can simply be a short discussion where you use the opportunity to express what you need, how you want it and in what time you need it by.
3. Understand their limitations and boundaries.
Once you’ve clarified what you need, make sure you understand their limitations and allow them to set their boundaries. For example, they might be willing to pick up your car for you but not drop it all the way to your house. Don’t assume someone who agrees to publish a book for you will also write it on your behalf. Ask them how far they are willing to go and understand their limitations. If you truly believe God is your source, you will not have to coerce anyone to do something for you that they are not willing or able to. Be grateful for their help and let God do the rest.
4. Be flexible.
The truth of the matter is that when you work with people even when you’re paying them, there is always a chance of disappointment. The more bitter truth which I personally think should not be so is that when you get a free service, it tends to be of less quality than a paid service.
I don’t personally agree because of who I am intrinsically. As much as 90% of my time is devoted to giving some form of free service whether it be going beyond the call of duty at work or empowering readers like you by spending my free time writing this blog or organising and doing voluntary projects. A lot of my life is spent giving to people and whether you pay me or not, I work hard in everything I do. Because for me, I have a Brand to protect, a Person to report to, a Kingdom to represent; this is Jesus Christ.
So if I AGREE to do something for you regardless of the terms, pay or time; I naturally give it my best. Not everyone thinks like that and definitely in business, it is probably foolish to have that mindset. So you must be flexible and prepare for disappointment, delays and denials. When someone does you a favour, the biggest thing you can give them is time. Have a plan B. When people do you favours, you really begin to learn the importance of patience.
5. Maintain your right to say NO.
The aim of this post is to empower you. As a child of God, you do not have to accept every favour that is handed to you. You need the spirit of God to discern the people who will agree to help you today and throw it back in your face tomorrow or expect something in return. Most people have a price; they just might not advertise it.
Abraham is a prime example of a man who knew how to say no. As a man of promise and destiny, Abraham knew he was destined for great wealth. In Genesis 14, the king of Sodom decides to bless Abraham. If some of us were in the same position and someone tried to bless us for nothing, we would have jumped at the opportunity. However in verse 22, Abraham refuses the king’s goods because he wanted to ensure no man could take the glory for his success but God.
Genesis 14:22-23; But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “With raised hand I have sworn an oath to the LORD, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, 23 that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the strap of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, ‘I made Abram rich.’
Because of this act of humility and utter dependence on God, look at Genesis 15:1, God re-appears to Abraham and confirms His promises to him. Like Abraham, we must be utterly dependent on God but grateful to the man for the part he plays in the fulfilment of our destiny. Be selective about who you receive favours from and who blesses you.
Learn to depend on God for everything and He will fulfil that need for you in His own way.
Let the Spirit of God give you the wisdom to know when to say NO.
May God bless and keep you in His presence forever, Amen
Dr Elizabeth F Babatunde
Get my book at www.fearnomorebook.com