Many times my opinion has alienated me from fellow believers. It used to be that I would blast people with my opinion and it obviously had poor results. However, I’ve found that people in general are uncomfortable with being disagreed with.
Here is how God made me:
– strong sense of justice
– desiring truth
– a propensity towards getting into the nitty-gritty of the faith
– big heart for God and people
Here is how God has changed me:
– moved me from a romanticized idealism to a realistic viewpoint of humanity
– bringing me to the realization that the lost won’t miraculously be reached by attending church
– showing me that mercy is a good balance to truth. (Mercy and truth have kissed.)
– not every battle is one that should be fought
Through the things I’ve been through, and my honesty about them in my songs, hurting believers and non-believers have been touched by my story, or in Christian terms, my “testimony”. And I didn’t have to wrap it up in a pretty, perfect package with verbiage that makes people comfortable.
My gift doesn’t come wrapped up. It is what it is. There is no pretension. There is no guessing. It’s more like a holding it behind my back until the right time and giving it to someone, as I got it. There aren’t pretty ribbons, but it isn’t a “chocolate pie” either. 😉 I used to feel a lot of shame concerning this. Not guilt. SHAME. I allowed people’s judgmental attitudes to make me feel bad for doing and saying what God told me to. It caused a lot of vacillating for me.
Recently I watched a documentary on Johnny Cash. When I think of Johnny, I think of the man at the end of his life, who through honesty spoke/sang what he felt was the truth, whose American recordings have touched MILLIONS of people. He’s gotten a lot of flack through the years from judgmental Christians who thought he did “devil music” and thought it was a shame that he didn’t do “just Gospel”.
I wonder how many people those judgmental Christians touched with their ridiculous standards and lack of grace. Even with all of Johnny Cash’s mistakes, he reached millions. He told millions of people about God. And I can guarantee that his mistakes and humanity made his listeners more open to the Gospel of Christ.
Why? Because he wasn’t afraid to bare his heart and say, “I’m just a man with a story to tell,” and it happened to include God. I’m not the crying type and I wept watching interviews of Cash’s last few years. What a legacy, even if flawed.
I’m tired of romanticized ideals- ones that I used to also have. I don’t want to be a GD princess or one of “God’s royalty”. I want to be His servant. I want my humanity: my blindness, my mistakes, my idiocy, my weaknesses, my SIN to be “out there”. To me God doesn’t accept me because I’m perfect or “made perfect”, He accepts me as I am, DESPITE these human flaws.
It is what it is. I am what I am. Some people appreciate that. Some don’t, because it challenges their lofty ideals. I won’t change this about myself. EVER AGAIN. I won’t put a pretty bow on something, but I also try not to throw truth at people too often or too hard. I’m not always successful.
I’m human like that.