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Watch the effect of your EFFECT...

Have you noticed that a lot of people mix up their use of "affect" and "effect"? They are actually 2 sides of the same word...affect is a verb while effect is noun. For this piece, I'll focus on effect because effects affect a lot. Let's start with the meaning of "effect":
a "result: a change or changed state occurring as a direct result of action by somebody or something else"* or
"power to influence: success in bringing about a change in somebody or something, or the ability to achieve this."*

There are 6 things we need to watch closely - because they have a lasting effect on us and intentionally or unintentionally affect others too: 
EmotionsFriends, Fantasies, Expression, Community and Time management.

Emotions - A wise person said: “Control your emotion or it will control you.” Indeed, “the emotions aren't always immediately subject to reason, but they are always immediately subject to action.”** While we cannot always control what happens to us, we can control our response/reaction. Proverbs 25: 28 tells us: "A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls" (NLT). Women are emotional. So we must have both emotional intelligence and emotional (self) control otherwise we could respond/react in ways that would affect our lives negatively.

Friends - A lot has been said and written about Friends. The reason is simple: unlike with your family, you have a choice on who you call a friend. While the people some have called friends have been a "ladder" helping them improve, others' friends have been their "grave-diggers." The fact is that: "A true friend never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down" (Arnold H. Glasow). From time to time it helps to assess whether your friends are helping you up or putting you down and what your effect on your friends is too.

Fantasies - Synonyms include vison, wishes, dreams. It's one thing to have fantasies and only the beginning - what we do with them determine and define who we eventually become. It is important to take these seriously and act on the positive God-inspired ones. For instance, your career dreams need to lead to decisions that don't destroy you or your family.

Expression - I had to think of a word that encapsulates what we say (& do) with or without words. As powerful as words are, what we don't say is equally as effective. Imagine not speaking up when you see a friend "going down" - or not taking the time to mentor a younger woman when you see there is a need. The ripple effect of that inaction/non-expression could affect many generations. On the flip side, when you "rise up" to the occasion, others will rise and praise you for all you've done - publicly and privately - like the Proverbs 31 Woman.***

Community - Community is really everyone you relate with - not just those you want to relate with. This is one area where you can have tremendous effect. You need to be alert so you are not affected by the wrong things rather you keep shining like Phil 2:15 instructs us to.

Time management - Time is one thing everyone has an equal share of - or do you know anyone who has more than 24 hours a day? When it comes to time, we all have a choice to use/abuse/misuse time. Eph 5:16a advises us to live "...making the best use of the time..." When you do, the ripple effect of everything you do will outlive you.What an effect!

The idea that everything is purposeful really changes the way you live. To think that everything that you do has a ripple effect, that every word that you speak, every action that you make affects other people and the planet.
~ Victoria Moran

As I wrap this up, I need you to realize that even if you feel insignificant (and you're not), that you have the potential of having a significant effect with all you say/do or even don't say/do. So watch the effect of your EFFECT and remain a blessing.

**William James
*** Proverbs 31:31 -
31 Praise her for the many fine things she does. These good deeds of hers shall bring her honor and recognition from people of importance. (Living Bible)
31 Reward her for what she has done, and let her achievements praise her at the city gates. (GWT)



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