Navigating being “in the world” and not “of it,” is one of the most complicated mine fields of our life with Jesus. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we had it written in black and white in the Bible that we should avoid Snapchat and Grand Theft Auto V while we CAN post on Twitter and Instagram as long as we are never wearing a bikini. It’s all well and good that Leviticus tells me clearly how to deal with a dead cow I find in a field while I am out for a stroll. This has not been an issue for me as of late. Instead the list of actual “rules” seems much shorter than that of guidelines to living for Jesus.
Recently we navigated the Grammy Awards. There was the usual shock & awe that accompanied the show. Katy Perry’s performance was called, “demonic glorification.” The mass wedding during Macklemore’s “Same Love,” caused gasps across the nation. Then of course we love to just poke fun at poor Taylor Swift, this year with her head banging piano playing.
Christian artist, Natalie Grant was nominated for two awards. Her actions have become viral as she posted on her FaceBook wall that she left the show early:
“We left the Grammy’s early. I’ve many thoughts about the show tonight, most of which are probably better left inside my head. But I’ll say this: I’ve never been more honored to sing about Jesus and for Jesus. And I’ve never been more sure of the path I’ve chosen.”
It was such a vague statement that a variety of people began to basically say, “See she was offended by what we were!” Instead, she graciously pointed out that it was conviction that caused her to leave, not any one performance. (You can read more about that HERE)
My reaction to the Grammy Awards? The world acts like the world.
It may sound flippant. I am not saying there weren’t things that I learned about that didn’t offend me, they just didn’t surprise me. It’s sort of why I was indifferent to the awards show in the first place.
The better question for us as Christians is how are we navigating what will feed our soul? For Natalie Grant she realized that singing for Jesus to people who want to sing to Jesus is her conviction and calling. What I don’t know is if Natalie Grant knew the words to any of the songs she heard live. Some of us will never listen to anything on the Pop radio station, some will and enjoy it while feeling guilty about it, others will proudly sing at the top of their lungs, some of us might even, “ROAR,” during “The Best Day Of Our Lives.”
When students ask me what they should do when it comes to navigating culture choices, I ask this question: “Does it bring you closer to God, or farther away from Him? Sometimes it truly may do neither. Speaking of Taylor Swift, I don’t feel closer to God when I listen to her, but I may learn how to navigate heartache. Some things are indeed inert.
Where the “shame” lies is when we point fingers at others (namely our students) while screaming, “AHHH! Plank in my eye. Plank in my eye.” We indulge in “guilty pleasures” with a shrug and nervous giggle.
What I respect about Ms. Grant is, she has never once judged anyone in this process, but for whatever reason staying would have caused her to “stumble” as we say, so she left.
This begs the question. Are we so busy creating a list of “Do’s and Don’ts” that we forget it’s about the state of our soul? I think the reason there are so many guiding verses about watching our heart, tongue and soul, is so we will ask the Lord what He thinks is best for us. Are we willing to delve into Scripture and ask Jesus before we turn the radio up, go to see a movie or turn on the television? None of these are “evil” however, some of them may not be beneficial for me? If we are going to spur our students on to more, will we do the same in pressing in to be closer to Jesus?
So I wonder, “Would you have left the Grammy Awards?” Not because of an “agenda,” but simply because the Holy Spirit nudged this is not where He wants you right now?
Some of us would stay and enjoy the show. Some of us would turn to our neighbor and ask them if they know Christ. Others would get up and walk out and let the world know about it.
Tell me how are you dealing with your convictions, and how are you sharing these with your students?
Now excuse me while I chart a path around this dead cow I just happened to find at the Super Bowl Halftime show….