I was scrolling through my twitter timeline the other day when I saw something that caught my interest. It was a tweet from BET. The headline read, “Ava DuVernay passes on Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ movie.” After reading the article I admired her for her fearlessness, integrity, and staying true to her visions and belief in her art…even in the face of giants and a multi-million dollar opportunity.

If you asked me a year or so ago whether I would do the same, I would have hesitated. Should I sell out a little to get my foot in the door? Would I pass up a million dollar opportunity like that because of creative differences? I am sure the answer would have been no. At that time I wasn’t spiritually mature enough to recognize my worth.

This year I have given up 4 side gigs. 4 side gigs that I have been working at for years. One of them I have been with for five years. Although they were all really paying me pennies to work for them I was worried about losing them. These side gigs, along with my main source of income, were helping me save money towards my goals and my dreams. So when God told me to stop working for pennies, I was heartbroken. I needed that side money man. The pennies added up, slowly, but they added up. But when I realized that I wasn’t being paid my worth, that I was being disrespected by people who thought I owed them something, that my soul was dying each day of working there, I had to let them go. It hurt because I believed more in my hustle than I believed in God’s plan for my life. I felt as if I was losing a lot and gaining nothing in return. I was hurt because my plan B’s were no more. I didn’t know it then but God was conditioning me for the future.

God watches to see if you can handle the little things before giving you the big things. If you can stand up for yourself over pennies, could you do the same with a million dollars in your face? If the opportunity given goes against your morals, your vision, ¬†and your heart, could you walk away from it anyway? God tests your faith, your patience, and your trust in him for everything. He builds your confidence in him so that you can stand up for yourself and not sell yourself to the highest bidder. He aligns his spirit with your heart to give you that confidence to know that he will provide…even when it seems like you’re on the losing side. He conditions you with the small things so you can handle the big things in the future. I believe the feeling of betrayal upon yourself lasts longer than the money you’ll receive from going against your soul. So now, if you ask me if I would have the same courage as Ava DuVernay to walk away from a deal like Marvel; the answer would be, yes. Yes I would.

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