As I was perusing through my pictures, the backdrop of one with my sister and I at the Essence Festival caught my eye. I vividly remember the first time I saw the backdrop and because it is a necessary reminder of the importance of supporting each other. At this moment, I want you to stop and assess your “support level.” How consistent have you been at supporting your sister’s dreams? Do you support anyone’s dreams or is the sole focus on you and what you can get out of others? Do you have an open hand to receive and a closed to give?
Sisters aren’t defined by blood or genetics. Not all of my “sisters” are in my family. I only have two blood sisters, but have the friendship and support of several women that I call “sister” or my “sista.” When we support each other as sisters, we can accomplish a lot more for the Kingdom. Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their toil.
For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 ESV
When I look at the picture closely, some of of the statements written on it are:
Love More–you should’ve known I’d see that one first.
Imagine what would happen if we took the time to love more instead of overflowing with jealousy, comparing, backbiting, belittling, and every descriptive word that is opposite of supporting one another’s dreams.
And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. Colossians 3:14 ESV
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:11 ESV
Be patient with each other
I think God purposefully places me in situations with others to teach me patience. Honestly, I must keep failing the test or have gotten good at practicing patience because He keeps sending me to places where I have to practice this skill. How patient are you with others? Do you get easily irritated when they don’t work as fast as you do on a project? Maybe they need more direction or encouragement to inspire them to work at a higher level. I know it can be difficult delegating a task to someone and they don’t treat the task with the same excellence and attention that you would’ve given it. I’ve been there multiple times. However, I soon realized that if I accept the substandard work, the person might think it’s ok to continue to perform at low-quality standards. As a result, I provided more mentoring and guidance which resulted in higher-level quality output on projects.
In addition to being patient with others, we have to practice self-patience and be able to wait until God answers our prayers. How many times have you gotten frustrated with yourself for not being able to complete something, missing a deadline, not being successful at one thing or another, etc.? Just this week, I got frustrated at myself for not being able to fix graphics on a document that I needed to print. I finally resolved to pay for someone else to fix the issues with the graphics. When I went back to review the proof, they had done an amazing job and I was very satisfied with the edits.
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9 ESV
Listen to them
Nothing burns my interest more than someone scrolling through their phone while I am trying to have a conversation with them. I remember the first time I walked away from someone that stopped me to talk, but she was focused on her phone. As she was talking to me, I noticed that her attention was solely on whatever was on her phone. Mind you, she stopped me as I was leaving the sanctuary. I halted my words in mid-sentence and walked away, leaving her standing in the place where she prevented me from going about my day.
How Can Sisters Support Each Other’s Dreams? Stop and take time to actually listen to the person who is conversing with you. She needs you at that moment. She may just need to brainstorm ideas, tell you about her vision and goals, share an intimate moment of fear. Who knows? Whatever the topic is, she trusts your judgment. She trusts you enough to share her dreams and disappointments.
By supporting each other’s dreams no matter how crazy.
Now, some dreams can be a little far fetched. If your friend wants to start a business selling winter coats on a Caribbean Island, you may want to pull her “coat strings” on that one. I’m just saying. However, I get the point of the statement. Jesus had the disciples and we definitely can’t do life alone. Yes, I know…one of the disciples betrayed Him, and another denied Him, but that’s another blog post. The truth of the matter is, we need the support of other people along this journey called life!
Supporting each other doesn’t always mean charging a fee. I know a woman who received an invoice when she reached out to another woman to ask a simple question. She was hesitant to contact me thinking that she would receive the same response. When I openly spoke with her on the telephone, she was relieved to know that I was open to helping her with completing a writing project.
Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. Hebrews 13:6 ESV Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:4
When we are more understanding with others, we are allowing them freedom to be authentic and not hide behind a mask of pretending. We are letting them know that we care and acknowledge their feelings and current situation. Being understanding allows us to seek wisdom in knowing how to respond (if needed).
For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. Proverbs 2:6
Judgment Free Zone
Whew! This right here–no judgment. Are you still playing judge and jury while not looking at the plank in your own eye?
Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Matthew 7:1 NLT This is one of the first scriptures I learned in my pre-adolescent years. I specifically remember being “picked on” in school. You know back then we called it “picked on” instead of bullying. I committed this scripture to memory because I needed to protect my own heart regardless of what others thought of me.
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. Colossians 4:6 ESV
Pray for each other
Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing. 1 Timothy 2:8 KJV
Read this verse again. Now read it again. Keywords–pray, lifting up holy hands–WITHOUT anger or disputing. Even if we don’t agree with a decision, we still have an anointing to pray for one another while giving praise to God. When you sense the need to pray for someone, you can do that even when you don’t know the specifics of what you need to be praying about. The Holy Spirit will intercede for you.
But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Matthew 5:44 ESV
Check on one another
A few weeks ago I posted a statement that we need to reflect on regarding remaining in contact with each other. How many times have you heard from someone “you haven’t called me lately?” Yet, they haven’t made any attempt to keep communication flowing? My father always said, “to have a friend, you must be a friend.” Communication goes both ways and it’s selfish when someone thinks they should always be on the receiving end. Just as you desire for friends and family to check on you, please do the same.
Everyone should look out not only for his own interests but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2:4
Be true to who you are
What does it benefit a person’s mental and emotional state to have to wear a mask? When we are true to who we are, we can be our true, free, and authentic selves. There is a level of peace that comes with truthfulness and not putting on a fake persona.
You are God’s masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus unto good works. Ephesians 2:10
Always speak positivity into each other’s lives
You can speak positivity into someone’s life even when you are providing constructive criticism, holding them accountable, and letting them know they are going down a wrong/dangerous path.
Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. Ephesians 4:15 NLT
Give High 5s
Sisters! We are faced with all types of issues and concerns, both personally and professionally. High 5 each other for because a little encouragement goes a long way.
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.1 Thessalonians 5:11
Instead of tearing each other down with negative words, untruths, and gossip, focus on building each other up. Focus on being a source of strength, comfort, love, guidance, accountability, and mentoring someone beyond their current situation. Be the breath of fresh air that a sister needs to make it through a challenging time. Hold her arms up in battle when she is getting weak.
So now, I ask you once again, how can you support your sister’s dream?