Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Is Your Private Pain Trying to Become Your Public Battle?

Most of us struggle with some sort of private pain or as the Apostle Paul calls it, his thorn. For some it's wounds inflicted by another person. For some it's self inflicted wounds. For some, it's the issue we just can't seem to shake. I haven't hardly covered everything, but no doubt most people have endured a private struggle with some kind of pain or hurt.

In my past, I've tried to press through my private pain by distracting myself  or shifting my attention on other things to cope. My ultimate goal was to keep the issue covered and contained as not to spill over into my public life. However, it always surfaced in the form of health issues, withdrawal from people and undefined anger. My method of coping wasn't really effective.

There are so many stories in the Bible where we read of a person's pain or need for healing. Their journey of struggle to healing and faith to fight encourages us to do the same. For me, it wasn't until I created The King's Daughters, Inc that I had a personal experience with my private pain becoming public and its ability to help others on their journey to healing. I also learned that trying to cover pain, does me as well as those watching my life no good. We're living testimonies and every day someone is watching us and maybe even taking notes. When they see you overcome, it gives them the strength and faith they need to conquer their issue.

Two artists that continue to inspire me are Singers Jill Scott and Mary J. Blige, mainly because of their ability to feel every emotion, move on and come out stronger for it.

For life to be lived in balance, we have to be honest and face the issues we encounter. Ultimately, a relationship with God is the way to healing. It's imperative that we lay our pain and hurt at his feet and leave it there. Carrying the weight of pain is another way to see private pain spill into our public life. We're not able to move as freely through life. We make decisions based on an altered reality marred with the pain.

Don't be selfish with your pain. It's not something you have to go through alone and someone is hoping you win your battle so they can win theirs. Isaiah 54:17 says: No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, And their righteousness is from Me,” Says the Lord.

Public or private, your pain can be healed and you'll come out in the words of Singer and Preacher Marvin Sapp, 'stronger, wiser, better!'


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Accountability For Your Message

One of my favorite scriptures can be found in both the old and new testaments in similar forms:

Isaiah 61:1-2 (NASB) states: The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor...

Luke 4:18-19 (NASB) states: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.

The first was stated by the prophet Isaiah and the second by the Christ, Jesus from the scroll of the prophet Isaiah.

Once upon a time few people had a worldwide or internationally known platform to "preach." Today, with technology and broadcast media, technically everyone can have a platform to disseminate their message to the masses. As a young child, I knew that I probably wasn't called to the pulpit as a preacher, but that I was called to broadcast media, i.e. the television, the stage, the airwaves with my unique message.

The Apostle Paul talks about the gifts Christ gave as He ascended to Heaven. 

Paul says in Ephesians 4:11-12:  And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;

As a connoisseur of knowledge, comedy, music, books, the arts, etc; my realization is there are preachers, prophets, evangelists, teachers of all kinds with different messages. The poor in Isaiah and Jesus's message are not only talking about the poor in wealth, but mostly the poor in spirit. Teachers, Rappers, Comedians, Storytellers, Pastors, Designers all have the ability to bring the good news, proclaim freedom to prisoners and prophesize the year of the Lord's favor. This is mainly determined by the message they choose to broadcast.

All messages need to be filtered and vetted for truth, and as more outlets are created to spread people's messages, there has to be a higher level of personal scrutiny for the words we consider "good news," or the Gospel.  If messages go unchecked, they have the same power and ability to put people back in the prisons, mental prisons that they are fighting their way out of. In context, Paul is mainly talking about our thinking. I don't necessarily want to edit myself when talking, but I do realize that I like many others have influential power. I have friends that are tangible, strangers follow me on Twitter and people who ultimately look to me for guidance and wisdom. Therefore, I accept a certain level of accountability for the messages I share with the world. 

Christ and Paul knew their ability to affect people's lives, change every space they inhabited or dwelt and they used their space to spread the good news. Many times tough and challenging, but altogether character building and life changing for the better.

My question to you, is how do you use the space you've been given. What message are you spreading through the light of your life?