I’ve wrestled with many desires in ministry and as well writing. My desires in and of themselves aren’t bad but to obtain these desires I have had to consistently check my heart with regards to my methods to obtaining these desires.
The seasons God has brought me through have been seasons to remind myself who has ultimate control in my life.
A lot of these seasons I have seen in my life have been centered on purpose and fulfillment. So in my ministry I have had desires to expand my platform. To have numerous people reading my writings. To be respected as a voice in certain arenas of life.
While desiring these things, God has sent me different people in my life to remind me some essential truths.
Trust God through the season.
The first one was a guy named Doug. I was living in Indianapolis, ministering among Urban youth in a job I loved so much, I always thought I’d die doing it.
While there, I wanted to be married. I wanted a wife. I wanted kids. I wanted to rush this season of singleness to become the man. Doug took me back to reality.
Doug opened his life up to me to learn about being a good dad and good husband. He didn’t give me a class. No seminar. He isn’t a guy who has sought to make much of his name. But in the same token he taught me by his example.
In that season of my singleness, he taught me the simple act of trusting God through the season I’m in. In the words of my pastor TC Taylor, “bloom where you’re planted”. This has been a big and important part of my life is learning to make the most of each season. Cherish its uniqueness and beauty. Don’t wish away its difficulties, learn from them.
Faithfulness must be the goal.
Several years later came a great brother named Jamaal Williams. Jamaal and I became great friends while he was my pastor at Forest Baptist Church. Jamaal reiterated one simple thing that has shaped my life in a huge way. Faithfulness.
The measure of success in ministry and life can be shaped by a lot of distractions that have little to do with God. We can get distracted by numbers, titles/positions, networks, recognition and other things. Our minds must shift towards being faithful to God. I’m thankful to Jamaal for shining light on this need in my life. Be faithful. Through this season of being under his leadership, this was a theme God taught me while in this season to shape my life.
Truth and Integrity honor God above sensationalism.
Another theme came while talking with a friend named Curtis, recently. While I have been getting more and more into writing and hoping to use my words to make a difference for the kingdom of God, I have been confronted with a truth about our time; the internet has brought us to becoming a very sensationalized culture. We have little regard for truth yet high regard for attention catching.
You know what I’m talking about. How many articles have you seen that are pure click bait? Think about news outlets. Satire is huge and is almost undistinguishable from legit, real news networks. You rarely see most of these articles citing sources for their information. There is rarely accountability for most of these online articles.
It’s ridiculous. Yet you’d think this would be absent within the Christian stream but as said on the Lord of the Rings, “the hearts of men are easily corrupted.”
I have noticed within many conversations being had in the Christian sphere, and especially the race conversation, there seems to be a lot of information passed to and from yet little real conversation dealing with explicit truth. I am guilty of this myself. Passing information on without confirming credibility. It happens so much and the danger is that our words begin carrying less weight and God is not honored in lying.
I have also seen this out of people who desire platforms. They will take extreme positions because they want a reaction out of others. They have little desire for a balanced approach and more desire to stir the pot.
For myself I can easily gravitate towards this position. I can easily want to sensationalize things consistently because I love reactions. But I realized that if that is my desire to gain a platform by any means necessary, then that is an idol. I need to remember the beauty and value of truth.
Honestly, there are many great Godly men and women with huge platforms. As well, there are many people who have huge platforms surrounding their consistent exaggerations with their opinions.
My heart needs to remember to value truth and seek to honor God with having an honest and balanced approach in my writing. I don’t need to sensationalize my writing by exaggerating or making my opinions overtly blatant for attention. I need to allow my opinions to be honest and as biblically sound as I can.