Welcome to Hustle in Faith. This podcast is dedicated to helping you find your trail to a happier healthier you by discussing topics regarding Christianity, health & wellness, beauty & so much more! I’m your host Tosha Johnson.

One of the best ways I stay sane in this crazy world is to be intentional with the messages that I allow to enter in to my mind. This is why I limit my time on social media, listening to and/or reading the news. I know enough to stay alert, but I don’t want all that negativity to play with my mind. 

However, there were a couple of stories that really struck a nerve with me. Naomi Osaka, a very famous talented tennis player, literally stated that she had no desire to speak with the media because she wanted to preserve her mental health. The French Open fined her $15K for not speaking with the media and threatened her with expulsion. Naomi pretty much said I’ll do you one better…I’m going to withdraw from the tournament. I LOVE that she did this. She put her well-being first and demonstrated that she was in control not them. 

I’ve never understood nor do I agree with why athletes have to speak to the media in the first place. It really is a very unhealthy relationship that many athletes should not condone. They do nothing but ask dumb questions in an attempt to make themselves feel better. 

That’s why I absolutely LOVED how Venus Williams responded to the media’s question about how she felt about Naomi. Venus said, “ ‘For me personally, how I deal with it is that I know every single person asking me a question can’t play as well as I can and never will. So no matter what you say or what you write, you’ll never light a candle to me. So that’s how I deal with it. But each person deals with it differently.” 

As my mom would say, “She told them off in a professional way,” which is something she taught me how to do very early on in my career. 

When you see this power struggle between athletes and the media it all boils down to control. The media so desperately wants to demonstrate what power they perceive they believe they possess. However, in reality it’s the exact opposite. If athletes decide that they are not going to give interviews, guess who is out of a job? 

If you think about it when the media has had the opportunity to use their power for good let’s say for example bringing attention to the fact that the NFL  finally decided to stop the use of “race-norming” in how they paid out the $1billion settlement of brain injury claims. In case you’re wondering, “What is race-norming?” This incredibly insulting methodology assumes Black NFL players started out with lower cognitive function so the NFL would not need to compensate the Black NFL players as much as the white NFL players. That would be a much more worthwhile story the media should pay attention to rather than bother athletes who clearly do not want to speak with them. 

The majority of the media don’t channel their investigative skills nearly as hard to get to the bottom of issues like systemic racism, poverty, and other issues that plague our world.

It got me thinking how many of us live our lives thinking we’re less than or not good enough when we have more power than we think. God created us to have a powerful vibrant mind that controls our entire being. If we accept the negativity that Satan attempts to project into our life, then Satan can build a fortress within our mind. He can turn our mind into a powerful weapon that can destroy us from the inside out.

As someone who has been in a position of feeling less than, it’s been a lifelong struggle to get to where I am. It definitely didn’t happen overnight. The way we can start to harness the power that God gave us is by being intentional with our speech.

So many of us fall prey to living aimless lives because we aren’t being intentional with our words. God warns us to watch what we say because the tongue has the power of life and death (Prov 18:21). 

Proverbs 18:21 The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

When we’re careless with our words, Prov. 6:2 states, “…you have been trapped by what you said, ensnared by the words of your mouth.” The words that we choose to speak will determine the outcome of our life.

Throughout the course of my life I’ve seen this in action. I’m turning 39 next month. It literally wasn’t until about 3 years when I lost everything and I mean everything that I finally started being intentional with my choice of words. I was constantly on the move doing my best to change my circumstances, without focusing on God and speaking negativity all along the way. Talk about a complete recipe for disaster!

This is an area that I still struggle with today. A good chunk of my life was spent feeling like I was less than enough. This couldn’t have been further from the truth! By the way, there’s some serious irony here because I recently learned that my name Tosha in Swahili literally means enough/ adequate or sufficient. Again, you gotta love the irony in that!

Due to not being intentional with my words, like a child, I was being tossed back and forth by the waves of life (Eph 4:14). I was trying to solve circumstances in my life within my own strength without going to God in prayer. I was so lost. I was wandering through this world without an anchor and that’s extremely dangerous.

When you live in this world without allowing God to be your anchor, you leave yourself vulnerable to society projecting their ideas as to who they want you. Oftentimes if you’re basing your happiness on being a people pleaser you’re setting yourself up for failure. There will always be people who don’t like how you look, how you talk, your demeanor, etc. You will NEVER please people but you can please God.

When you strive to please God you’ll notice that you’re oftentimes alone. There’s so much evil and negativity in this world. It takes guts to go against the crowd. If you spend a good portion of your life as a people pleaser it’s going to be scary the first time you decide to go against the crowd. However, speaking from experience, the benefits of keeping my sanity and health intact far outweighs whatever “support” people may or may not offer.

Speaking up for yourself is going to make you happy. When you’re happy, you feel more confident in your abilities. This places you in a position to find and/or develop your talents and purpose in life. Once this occurs, you’re going to experience a peace that surpasses all understanding. In a world filled with chaos, people are going to be drawn to you. 

You’re going to be radiating with joy and peace that people will without a doubt want to share in as well. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that your willingness to take control of your power is going to inspire others to do the same.

Do what you have to do in order to reclaim your time and peace of mind so you can be the bold lion God destined you to be (Prov 28:1).

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