So what I love about our blog is we do not pretend to be disconnected from the world which we live in (while we still strive not to be of the world). One of my guilty pleasures is Basketball Wives, and while I usually do not watch the episodes when they first come out, thanks to HULU, I am able to get caught up. Just like it is possible to glean spiritual substance from secular songs, the premiere of Basketball Wives LA highlighted a very common issue with “saved, sanctified” folk.
Sometimes, ya’ll…we just WAY TO DEEP for the situation!!!
So this is what I’mma need you to do: Fast forward this clip to 5:00 and watch until 7:45. Resist the urge to watch all the other stuff (I tried to get a clip that was as close to the point that I needed). Watched it??? Ok, let’s go…
Summary of clip: In this clip, the ladies are still trying to get to know each other: none of them are that “tight” as friends. On a night out, while playing cards, one of the ladies, Jackie Christie, reveals that her eating has changed (for the worse) largely in part to the emotional toll of her mother’s health conditions, which includes battling liver cancer. Enter Tanya Williams and her advice. She proceeds to immediately tell Jackie that she will “fast and pray” in a heartbeat and then tries to “connect” by talking about her daughters…all while Jackie is visibly distraught. Tanya then explains how spiritual she is and how being spiritual prepares one for their purpose.
JUST A COUPLE THINGS (literally…like two things, them I’m out):
1) Not what you say…but when you say it:
I do not necessarily disagree with the substance of Tanya’s message; I even agree with most of it. But what made me feel uneasy, as a person of faith, is the timing of her message. While she possesses knowledge, I questioned whether she possessed “wisdom,” as in the type that is freely given from God (see James 1:5). Through wisdom comes discernment, and I just question whether the Spirit told her at that time that her “sermon” was necessary. I do not think she was un-loving…but far from passionate.
What I love most about Jesus is that before He spoke to the spiritual side of a person-in-need, He provided the comfort, healing, and substantive provision being sought FIRST…then supplemented with the spiritual aspect after. People needed to be fed, before they heard parables. A woman needed to see her daughter breath one more gasp of air, before she could recognize His power. A man born with blindness, due to no fault of his own, was made to see before proclaiming the goodness of Jesus. I watched this clip and felt convicted, asking myself “self, how many times have you spoken with good intentions about faith and my walk….but at the wrong time? did I drive someone away?” If you are serious about your witness and ministry….you’d reflect on that.
Now let us be clear, there are DEFINITELY times when we Believers have to say things that the masses do not like to hear, do not want to hear, and can’t handle. When Jesus flipped the tables at the temple, (check out Matthew 21) he didn’t wait for a Gallop poll or vote to set things in order. But the key word is “order!” If Jesus would have passed the place of worship that was intended to glorify His (and our) Father, he would have actually been out of order! He was not trying to make friends at that time; he was making a statement. When interacting with folks in the name of “friendship,” we must ask ourselves if what we are saying is DRAWING people towards us…or DRIFTING them away. If we take the small, but crucial moment to pray before we speak, and then speak with humility, the outcome will be spiritually-led instead of personally-driven.
2) Not what you say…but how you say it:
Many ministers, teachers, inspirational leaders spend countless hours focusing on their audience, and not enough time on how they, themselves, communicate to others. Tanya has a presence–and I’m not mad at a woman with a strong and confident personality. By no means should she deny who she is. But could she have “crouched” a little of her personality for like…5 minutes?
But let’s analyze it in a different way. In Mark 1:40-44, Jesus did what he does: He healed. BUT, He also told the leopard NOT to tell people who healed him. There were times in the Bible when the crowds grew or knew of His whereabouts and powers, Jesus had to flee. In Mark 1:34, Jesus told demons not to reveal who He was. In Matthew 16:20, the disciples were instructed not to tell others He was the Messiah.
What’s your point, Ify? My point is: to have the LARGEST impact, sometimes you have to shrink some of “you” to reach more of “them.” Your proclamation of all your talents, skills, dreams, spiritual gifts…that can seriously hinder your purpose. Jesus didn’t need a fan club. He did not aim to out-spiritualize anyone. But that did not change who He ultimately was. He was still the King of Kings…who walked humbly amongst the destitute and chose to blend in with the common man.
I wonder what the impact would have been if Tanya would have talked less, listened more, and not said ANYTHING about who she was as a “spiritual” being. I made a note to self that as a Christian, I want to BE spiritual more than I want to SPEAK about being spiritual.
My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry–James 1:19
Let us be proud in HIS WORD, and not so much in our voice. Be used…correctly.