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Why don’t we all share Jesus boldly like Kanye West? Could it be that we are afraid of our flaws and failures being in the spotlight?
Hip-hop is not really my thing. I do have some Black Eyed Peas on my workout playlist…does that count as hip-hop? I’m so uncool, I really don’t know.
Rap? That’s a big no thank you.
So typing Kanye’s new album into a search engine is not something I thought I would ever do. Ever.
But the truth is, this uncool mom has been doing a lot of thinking thanks to Mr. West.
Jesus is King
Kanye’s new album is called Jesus is King. It’s an entirely, thoroughly, explicitly Christian album.
You might have seen people on social media discussing whether his new-found faith is genuine or just some kind of marketing stunt. (Because claiming Christianity makes you so popular with everyone these days?…lol)
I hope it’s genuine, but honestly, that’s not what has struck me in all of this. Jesus can handle his own reputation, I’m certain.
What I can’t stop thinking about is this:
Why aren’t we all as bold as Kanye West about Jesus?
From what I’ve seen, both the Christian and secular communities have had similar reactions to Kanye’s testimony: We’ll just watch and see if this is genuine.
And that’s not unfair. Our conversion should be evident in our lives.
The problem is, it’s just that attitude that prevents most of us from stepping out in faith to be bolder in proclaiming Jesus.
We know that people will be watching us. Judging us. Just waiting for us to screw up so they can say, “A-ha! You’re a fake, a hypocrite!”
We know that because that’s exactly what we do to others.
And we know ourselves well enough to know that they will see inconsistencies in our lives. So we stay in the shadows, never stepping out so far that we might be judged and found lacking.
We aren’t bold in proclaiming Jesus because we don’t want the spotlight on our own failures and struggles.
Related content: Above all…love. To every person you meet you are Jesus to them.
The cold water committee
Each summer the youth in our church attend a national youth camp. And each summer our Christian-Ed Director reminds the adults in the church that when the kids come back, they are likely to be on fire for God. Ready to serve. Excited about their faith. She counsels the more mature members of the church to feed that excitement instead of putting the fire out.
You see, our tendency is to sit back and watch, patting our wise-old selves on the backs for our years of knowledge, and thinking, “We’ll just see if these changes are genuine.”
It’s easy to see the roadblocks. It takes no faith to be the cold water committee.
Flawed but faithful
We’ve been studying Peter in our women’s Bible study. Oh how I love this man. Scripture does not shy away from shining a light on his (many) failures and flaws while at the same time showing how mightily God used him.
The key is finding the balance between acknowledging our failures while always striving to be more like Jesus.
Peter didn’t say, “Welp, that’s just how I am. Glad Jesus loves me anyway.”
He wept over his sin. It wasn’t a secret, but he also didn’t wallow in it, nor did he let it keep him from boldly proclaiming Jesus.
I teared up the other day in church when we sang these lyrics:
Released from my chains I’m a prisoner no more
My shame was a ransom He faithfully bore
He cancelled my debt and He called me His friend
When death was arrested and my life beganOh, Your grace so free
Washes over me
You have made me new
Now life begins with You
My shame was a ransom He faithfully bore. I’m tearing up now typing it. The depth of that just swallows me right up every single time.
When I’m overwhelmed with God’s grace to me in light of my shame, gratitude rises to the top and it’s not about me anymore. Go ahead, put the spotlight on my failures. I’ll point you to His grace again and again.
Take a risk. Be like Kanye. You don’t have to be perfect, just point people to the one who is.
Remember, Jesus can take care of his own reputation.