Category:Blogs’

Spilling Tea: The Cancer of Gossip…

 - by Nikki

gossip

“LET’S SPILL THE TEA, PEOPLE!!!”

Okay, so whether we call it,  “keeping it real” or “spilling the tea,” the action remains the same.  It’s all GOSSIP!

Of course, most don’t begin their gossiping as curt as my opening in this blog, but I used those words to paint the point. In essence, that’s what someone is saying when they open fire on a subject or person. It often starts with common phrases like,

“Bro, I just want to ‘warn’ you about so and so…”  “Girl, I’m not sure about such and such but did you hear…because I heard…”  Some even take the more religious approach to gossip, speaking in the tense of, “Be careful aligning with…because I sense in my spirit that…”

It’s all very crafty when you think about it.  For whatever reason, some just seem to always find themselves on the giving end or receiving end of someone’s agenda laced gossip. So, what do you do? How do you handle someone speaking negative words about you? What do you do when the person gossiping is not handling the perceived “ought” the way the Matthew 18:15 instructs?  In short, how do we rectify a “wrong” or gossip?

First, let’s get to the basics. According to notable theologian Dan Phillips, gossip can be defined as “…saying behind a person’s back what you would never say to his or her face.”  On the opposite scale, flattery can mean “…saying to a person’s face what you would never say behind his or her back.” Also, I think it’s important to note, just because we WOULD say it to someone’s face, doesn’t make it okay either.  Remember, it’s not always what we say…but how we say it… :-)

Next,  let’s talk about the “why” behind gossip.  What I’ve discovered is the answers given are almost never the REAL reason behind the sharing of gossip.  When really getting to the root of it gossip is more of a mirror into the heart of person gossiping, than a window out to the person being gossiped about.  In short, it’s an insecurity thing.  See, anything that attempts to attack your character, is often afraid of your influence. And the way a gossiping spirit attempts to hinder influence is by attacking credibility under the guise of “doing the greater good,” “telling it like it is” or “dispensing godly justice.”

Think back.  Someone gossiped to you and says they’re just “keeping it real.”  If you’re me, what I immediately do is take into consideration the whole pattern of the gossipers behavior.

Again, what I’ve discovered is if every time you speak to someone they manage to interject someone else’s name into the conversation, chances are, there’s an agenda there and ultimately they’re looking to influence me their opinion.  Social studies have also proven people often bond over a common “enemy.”  Common enemies are often created by what? You guessed it -divisive gossip.  Again, there are many layers to the cancerous actions behind gossip. Nevertheless, when being brought gossip here are some things to consider/ask according to Phillip;

  • “Why are you telling me this?”
  • “What’s the difference between what you’re telling me and gossip?”
  • “How is your telling me that thought, that complaint, that information going to help you and me love God and our brothers (sisters)  better, and knit us closer together as a church in Christ’s love?”

Asking questions holds ALL of us accountable and helps BOTH parties to see gossip for what it is and to help work toward a resolution, rather than simply dishing unkind and often untrue information. Also, it’s important to dismantle the excuse behind the gossip. In my years of counseling, I’ve heard every excuse imaginable in an effort to justify gossip. Everything from “I’m keeping it one-hundred”  to “…well, it’s the truth!”  to “…that person needs to be exposed!” I’ve even heard people claiming, “God said…”

The whole cancer of it again, is unfortunate.  Gossip is no respecter of high title, following or anointing. It can flow freely from even the most “spiritual elite” of us. What’s even more disheartening is that some, in an attempt to expose others, really only end up unmasking their own hearts, and insecurities. And although we could pause right here to exegete the scriptures and give the order of how God reveals, heals and delivers, I will say this.  Let us always keep in mind God does everything in order.  Correction speaks directly, in love and for the restoring of others.

Lastly, I want to speak to those who may have or currently experiencing some time of slander or  misunderstanding. My word for you is simply to stay encouraged. The reality is, we ALL have or will face some type of misgivings at some point in life. But like James MacDonald says, “nothing helps us more through a season of injustice than time.” Trust, God will vindicate you in time. Just make sure that if there is something that needs to be corrected on your end, you take responsibility to do your part to correct it. Then leave God to do the rest. Live upright and trust God to fight for you.

See, in the end, rumors really don’t matter. And it doesn’t even matter how “credible” a gossiper may appear or how “sound” they may sound. When God is for you, not only will you stand, you’ll flourish. Remember, GOD has an amazing way of proving you right, without you ever having to say a word (Exodus 14:14.)

So, keep your head up! It may take a week. It may take a month. It may even take some years, but know this; God will always stay true to His word.  Just continue to SINCERELY pray for those who speak ill of you. Really, just because they got the report wrong doesn’t mean it can’t be  made right. Plus, God loves them just like He loves you and at the end of the day, it’s not HIS desire that ANYONE should perish. Pray God gives them a heart like His…that their words might follow.

So, that’s all. Just wanted to send of a word of encouragement to any who needed it. You will make it through the test and you will outlive it.

Stay strong.

God’s got it.

Nikki Washington, The Chaste Life

Love Is…

 - by Nikki

FiveLoveLanguages

 

Happy “Love Week” all! :-)

Now, let me just preface this blog by saying I’m not generally a “fan” of “Hallmark Holidays.” However, I do understand and believe in the importance and necessity of celebrating love, as a whole.  It’s with that in mind, that I offer this short, sweet and to the point blog.

Let’s talk about sex… :)

Just kidding…No, if you want to know about sex and God’s original intent for sex, you can pre-order and checkout my book, “The Pleasure Principle…”  (shameless plug :-) )   Now, if you’d like insight on all things love, this blog is for YOU!

I HIGHLY recommend checking out, “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. I read the book initially some years ago and recently picked it up again. I find it to be a timeless book and one filled with great insight on the many love languages as a whole.

From “Acts of Service” (my primary language) to “Words of Affirmation” and a couple of additional languages in between, there’s something for everyone to identify with, and not just for yourself, but so that you can identify the communication style of you mate, children and even friends.

So, before you run out and buy those roses. Before you cook that dinner. Take a little time to review the love language of the one you love. In doing so, not only may you save yourself some misdirected energy, you’ll discover the best way to express love to those you love.  At the end of the day, that’s what it’s really all about. Celebrating the people in our lives, in the ways that matter to THEM most…

So, for those of you who decide to celebrate February 14th, consider this…  Whether you choose to celebrate family, friends or your loved one, take a little time and thought into how they receive, and then allow His love to shine through you.

Love well,

 

Nikki Washington

The Chaste Life

Questions! Questions! Questions!

 - by Nikki

questions

 

Do you have questions about purity, purpose or even practical things? Email me at thechastitybelt2010@gmail.com and your question may be selected for our “video of the week” (vlog). Also, although the questions will be answered in the order received, I do respond to all of them personally, so please be a little patient with ya girl, as it may take time, depending on the number of emails in the queue. (Note: questions used for the “vlog of the week” will ALWAYS be read anonymously).

Additionally, I just wanted to say thank you to all of you for your kind words and encouragement about my new book! January 14th can’t get here fast enough, LOL! “The Pleasure Principle; the Truth about holding Out, when you want to get it In” has truly been a labor of love.  The words shared come from my heart, and my prayer is that it blesses you and anyone you may gift the book to as well.

Lastly, some of you have been asking about my speaking engagements and where you may be able to find me. In times past, I never post my travels, but next year I will begin to post some of them, depending on the accessibility of the event, etc.

Also, for booking you can email thechasititybelt2010@gmail.com and we will reply with the necessary info.

Thanks again you guys for all that you do and for the love and support! Last week, we had a RECORD amount of readers, yay!!  Feel free to not just read but COMMENT, so that we can encourage our fellow brothers and sisters in the faith as well, amen? Amen!! :)

Nikki Washington

The Chaste Life

“The Pleasure Principle; The Naked Truth…”

 - by Nikki

So…I’ve written a book…  :)

“The Pleasure Principle: The Naked Truth about holding Out -when you want to get It in. is THAT book. It’s that candid conversation you have with your best friend. It’s those heartfelt words written across your journal. That whispered prayer that ascends from your heart to God’s ear. Yeah…this is that book…

January 28, 2014, I will be sharing “The Pleasure Principle…” with the world. My desire is someone would see God’s goodness and the simplicity of His grace.

For years, I’ve shared my testimony of virginity, but never have I shared in this way before. This book is, hands down, the most naked book I have ever penned (pun intended). :)

See, when I first began in ministry, the road was so different. When I was young all I had to do was allow God to keep me, which honestly wasn’t that difficult because wasn’t nobody checkin’ for the kid, lol. Pardon my English, but I had to say it how I felt it. :)   Seriously, now some years later there are so many more elements to maintaining this stance of purity.

 

From skeptics, to critics, to even having to clarify the true definition of virginity, I’ve seen and heard it all…and I get it. It’s the world we live in. Plus, not to mention having to submit to God the tenants of my own sexual desires. Truly, it’s a miracle God has graced me to come this far at all. God has been faithful.

“The Pleasure Principle…” is more than a purity read, it’s a discussion. It’s a candid conversation for married and unmarried alike about God’s true intent for sex.  At the end of the day, my prayer is something shared blesses you, reaches you and causes you to see sex in it’s proper context, as a gift from God, rather than a forbidden desire.

It’s real. It’s raw. It’s relatable.

Are you ready?

“The Pleasure Principle…” It’s coming….1/28/14

Nikki Washington
The Chaste Life

 

Sin-O-Meter

 - by Nikki

 

hypocrisy-meter

Giving someone a false complement -1.9

Entertaining gossip -3.1

Skipping a tithe -4.2

Fornicating -9.7

I listed the above because I wanted paint a picture of what some of us do when it comes to “weighing” sin. It’s like we judge sin on a scale or meter to according to social acceptability.  Now, I’m sure opinions and scales vary, but my point remains the same. It’s so odd when you think about it. We look at our own shortcomings and think we’re “not so bad” and then look at the sins of others and turn our noses up. As if we’ve earned salvation… As if ALL haven’t sinned and fallen short.  As if when we see the shortcomings of others, we shouldn’t be reminded of the grace on our own lives…

As I watched the news and heard tragedy after tragedy my heart became heavy.  And as to where some would look at the sin of others and judge, that’s just not the heart of me….

Really, how could I look at others and not consider myself? No, I don’t life a life of sin nor do I  sin that grace may abound. However, I just like you am HUMAN and come with my own set of flaws and things that God has to workout in me too. And the ONLY reason why I am ANY good that I am, is not me…but the grace of God.

See, what I’ve discovered is it doesn’t matter who we are or where we’ve been, the reality is we ALL need God.  So, a long time ago I decided, rather than writing people off or giving opinions laced in judgement and critique, how  about I just love people, and allow GOD to deal with the rest…

See, I wrote these words tonight in hopes of encouraging two people. Those who are living under condemnation because of their past. And those who are living in a prison of their own self-righteousness. The message is simple:

Be FREE!!!

Trust, God didn’t save the saint because they were “so good” nor is unable to save the sinner because they’re “so bad.” He saves because HE’S just that good. And because He’s that good, our reasonable service is to at least strive to live a life that pleases Him.  So, to you who need encouragement, I say keep growing! Keep pressing toward the mark. Keep letting God make, mold and shape you.

It’s a good thing.

Nikki Washington

The Chaste Life

The “Promotion” Myth

 - by Nikki

Tonight I speak to everyone with a dream, a vision or a heart for helping others. Know that when God gives you an assignment, NOTHING else matters outside of His word spoken to you. Don’t fall for the lie the enemy would try to feed you, that causes you to think that you have to be perfect, have the highest level of education or even know the right “people.” Trust, when God is in it, none of that stuff even matters.

godlypromo

Now, hear my heart, everything has it’s proper place and is useful for life, so by no means am I discouraging being prepared for our callings. I am however saying, that at the end of the day…NOTHING ELSE weighs more heavily than GOD’S hand on your life and His purpose navigating your path. NOTHING!  And trust, I don’t speak from a place of knowledge only, but experience. See, for me, nothing in this life has been handed to me.

Nothing.

From the days of my youth, to beginning in ministry, to ultimately starting a magazine and even writing books, I was not the person who got the “backing” In my life, from beginning to end, it has been nothing short of the grace of God that allowed me to work my row and produce His harvest. Even when some couldn’t see why God favored me, He still did…for that I’m truly grateful.

Through no good of my own, my life has been an echo of what the Psalmist wrote, “…For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. It is God who judges: He brings one down, He exalts another.” — Psalm 75:6

In other words, when GOD is backing you, every principality has to bow!  When GOD is backing you NO devil in can stop you. When GOD is backing you, you don’t need a hook-up or a handout. All you need is His word, and your faith. Really, God is GOD.  And if we serve a God that can only promote according to who approves and who doesn’t that what kind of god do we serve? Selah…

I’m not sure who this is for, but to all those concerned about the particulars, take rest in Him. Just keeping serving HIM, keep working your lane and trust, God will align you with what is purposed for you in time.

And you won’t have to politic. No, your promotion will come with no shadiness. Remember, God honors the pure in heart. And, no matter what type of adversity you face, if you hold on to His word, walk in integrity and keep going, you will see God’s manifested promises.

So, stay the course.

It’s a Romans 8:31 kind of season… :)

Nikki Washington

The Chaste Life

Worth It

 - by Nikki

Tonight, is simply about one thing; knowing OUR worth.  To any that need encouragement, take heart…

You are worth it.

You are worth the wait. You are worth the work and you are worth going the distance for…

Never allow life or a person or a social status or even a circumstance, to cause you to forget how valuable you truly are… remember, you are not the sum of your trials…you’re a product of HIS grace…keep growing.

So, that’s it. Just wanted to encourage all those who need it…I’ve come to discover…sometimes it’s the simplest words….that carry the most weight…

Keep growing….

Nikki Washington
The Chaste Life

worth

Window Pain

 - by Nikki

window-pane

Sleepless nights. Tear stained pillows. Rehearsed hurt. Trying to recover your peace in an effort to move passed the past. I get it. And yeah, I’ve been there too…

Tonight, I speak to every woman who’s ever had to smile past her pain. To ever woman who has suffered some type of affliction whether spiritual, physical or emotional. To every woman who has ever had to worship in the middle of a storm. Tonight this is for you…

John 14:1 simply states, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.”

Now, I know some may have read that scripture and thought, “Okay, but how does that help me, NOW? I know God is real and He heals, but what can I do to feel better, NOW?” And hear my heart, I so understand how you feel and where you’re coming from. And even in those moments, when we as humans fail to understand, rest in the knowledge that God never fails. Not only does He understand our infirmities, He can also feel our pain. In fact, His Son took our pain on as His own when He died on the cross for us. Yet, it’s up to us to receive His gift.

Maybe you’re mourning the death of a loved one…to you, my heart and prayers are with you. Perhaps you’re experiencing heartache…I pray God continue to console you.  Maybe, your physical body is even in pain…I stand in agreement  with you for your healing. Whatever you’re facing, know God is able to heal and deliver from ANYTHING! See the reality is, we’ve all experienced pain on some level. Some more than others, but we all know what it feels like to hurt, mourn or grieve in some capacity. And what I’ve learned personally is although the pain is very real and should never be minimized, ALL PAIN has a WINDOW…Thus, our subject: Window Pain.  And yes, you read correctly, not a “window pane” but window, PAIN! Translation: all pain has a window of expiration…or as the old saints used to say, “Trouble don’t last always!”

Ladies, know that God is not deaf nor is He blind. Trust, He sees. And not only does He see, but He specializes in mending the wounds of the righteous and restoring His children.  Now isn’t that good to know? Isn’t it good to know God cares? That He’s not deaf to your cries? Truly, He is an Amazing God.

Trust, God still heals. Just keep trusting Him. Keep believing Him. And never mistake His silence for His absence. God knows…

Keep pressing.

Keep praising.

Keep believing God.

Nikki Washington

The Chastity Belt

20/20: A Lesson In Perspective

 - by Nikki

Ever been rebuked for a condition you DIDN’T actually have? Every been waiting on God to manifest a promise, that seemed long coming? Ever been Hannah?

prayingwoman

Read 1st Samuel and you’ll see the familiar story of Hannah. In short, she was a woman of God, who desired to bear a child. Yet God “seemed” slow moving as it pertained to her promise.  During her season of waiting, she would be mocked by a boastful Penniniah, (a mere biblical side chick, lol) who bore children for Hannah’s husband.  And  to top it off, Hannah would even  find herself being misdiagnosed by spiritual leader and HIGH Priest, Eli….again, I say, have you ever felt like Hannah? I have…

The last couple of years of my life have been both a blessing and a lesson.  Daily I would get email notifications of the many people gravitating and subscribing to this blog, yet  I just couldn’t bring myself to write in the same iteration I once did.

However, my silence wasn’t an indication that anything was wrong. In fact, I was still working, sowing and serving God in my daily walk. And my testimony of virginity was and still remains in order. Truly, HE has kept me, but by HIS grace and not my own doing. See, as to where some might assume my silence was stagnancy, on the contrary. My silence wasn’t because something was wrong…but because God was cultivating everything right…just like Hannah, moving her lips with no words being uttered, I too was petitioning and being pruned by God, even though I was seemingly silent.

If you read the scriptures, we see Eli observing Hannah and making an assumption based on what He saw. It’s interesting. Growing up, I always thought if someone had a title, they MUST be infallible. I even used to think that if people were “good” credible sources, it must mean they were always accurate in their assessments.  Since my naïve days, I have learned several things. Amongst them is that just because someone gives their honest opinion doesn’t mean it’s an accurate assessment.

See, the reality is, we’ve ALL been like the priest, Eli and gotten the report wrong. We’ve ALL  seen a person in the position of a “Hannah”  who we didn’t know was really submitting to God and His process, yet diagnosed him/her in honest error. And on the flip side, we’ve all BEEN Hannah at some point. We’ve ALL had the right heart, yet been viewed wrong. And the reality is, void of if it’s big or small, we all know what it’s like to be misunderstood. Yet the beautiful thing about God, is…He specializes in THE GREAT TURNAROUND!  Just like with Hannah, God will clear up misgivings, silence devils and produce your promise. WATCH!

Tonight this is for any of my sisters who have a promise on their lives. To anyone who’s ever wrestled with being different. To anyone who’s ever had to continue to believe God in the midst of being perceived as barren. Tonight, this is for you.  Stay encouraged and keep believing! It doesn’t matter WHAT it looks like. It only matters what God has said. Trust, He can’t lie and He won’t fail. Keep believing!

It’s turning!

Nikki Washington

Blog Rewind: Father Knows Best

 - by Nikki

Hey all! In honor of the up coming, “Father’s Day” holiday, I wanted to take time to honor all of the Father’s! Stay encourage brothers! We see your efforts and God will honor you for your service.

Blog Rewind: Father Knows Best

Original Date: May 7, 2011

Author: Nikki Washington

 

____________________________________________________

 

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; 6). In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” –Proverbs 3:5-6.

Because I’m me, my internal wheels are constantly spinning. Because I’m me I tend to approach things with a different perspective. Because I me, at times, I find myself resisting the urge to formulate a hypothesis based on logic. And because God knew there would be people like me…He left us with that nifty little proverb above. :)

In short, the writer is encouraging us not to rely on our own insight. Rather he notes our understanding should be TOTALLY based on God’s Word. Now, it sounds simple enough, right? Here’s the thing though, if it’s so simple why do many of us miss it? Why do we conduct ourselves as if we know better than God? And although we’d never articulate it, it’s surely displayed in our actions. Think about it…

Do you ask your friends and loved ones their opinions BEFORE consulting God? When facing an issue, is your first line of thought, “How do I fix this?” Or are you one who seeks a biblical understanding BUT, rather than WAITING on God for a rhema Word, impatience causes you to attempt to “force” a revelation of the text? I could continue, but my point is this; these are all forms of leaning to our own understanding.

See what I’ve come to discover is, there is a place for wise counsel. There is a place for implementing our problem solving skills. There is even a place for using our reasoning skills. But that place should never take the place of God’s Word. Not only that, but all of those things should be founded on His Word.

The moral of the story:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; 6). In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” –Proverbs 3:5-6. :)

So, that’s all.

I pray that in this season you walk in the fullness of God’s will for your life. I pray that you allow His Word to be your Ultimate Authority. And most of all I pray you can discern the difference between the voice of God and your own internal dialogue. And it is so…

As for me, I pray the same for myself. I’m allowing God to rid me of the “old wineskin” mentality. I’m giving His Word TRUE precedence over everything. And  most of all, I’m allowing God to do what He does best –be GOD.

Nikki Washington