See things the way God sees them.
Photo by Kaylee Stepkoski on Unsplash.
This article was inspired by our single "Higher". You can listen to the song below.
It's the difference between seeing a deer...as either dinner, or a beast to be feared and respected.
Perspective is the way you view the world. It’s the difference between seeing a deer in the woods and thinking of it as either dinner, or a beast to be feared and respected. Last year, I saw God consistently shift my perspective on everything. He left no stone unturned, though I do wish there were some things He would have left alone, such as my insecurities about my skin and trying to find my voice as a singer. Don’t even get me started on learning the piano. Add a global pandemic, multiple deaths in the family, and stepping down from leadership at my church to be a full time independent musician, and you have all the ingredients necessary for a mental break with no return to sanity in sight.
But somehow, I didn’t break.
My mind bent into positions that I didn’t think were possible. I know without a shadow of a doubt that it was God’s grace and mercy that carried me through. He kept me from living in fear and inspired me to lift others out of their personal pits of despair. I believe that I’ve been made better this year because of His constant call to see things from His vantage point. To see higher. As I look to the future I realize that I have a choice.
I can keep the mindset God has shaped in me during this 2020.
I can be open to new upgrades for the rest of my life.
Photo by Javier Allegue Barros on Unsplash.
The end of the year always leads to a time of introspection for me, and right after Christmas, I usually get very anxious about what the New Year will look like and how I can grow. This time around, my introspective sessions have been a little more hopeful than ones past, but are largely plagued by fear surrounding the future. Especially as a new, independent artist. In the midst of this fear is a heightened anxiety. We wonder if we will be able to do any public gigs safely. Or ever again (we may be stuck inside performing virtually for God knows how long).
We wonder if we can figure out how to get social media algorithms and technology to work for us so we can boost our income, or if these challenges will crush our desire to create. The temptation to just survive (aka “get a REAL job” as some may say) is very real, especially since our brains are wired to pursue it, at all costs.
He wants us to thrive in the most challenging circumstances.
But abandoning the joy that comes from living a whole, purpose filled life is too high a price to pay, even in the midst of the struggles. Survival is not what Jesus died for us to do. He came so that we could live an abundant life (John 10:10). Not a pointless existence where we just ‘get by’ on the bare minimum, in fear of our joy being stolen and our hope being destroyed. He wants us to create without fear of the future. He wants us thrive in the most challenging circumstances. He wants us go higher!
The question is...do you?
What has you tethered to the ground? What’s shackling your faith? What’s barring you from honing your craft and being God’s version of yourself?
Photo by Stephan Seeber on Unsplash.
There is a summit of creativity where God is the wellspring, the air is crisp, and you are free to be who He made you to be. I’m ready to go higher.
How about you?
Grab the, "He Is My Strength, He Is My Song" sweatshirt here.
And Jesus ISN'T the cure.
By J. Sells
Photo by John Cameron.
This article was inspired by our single "Jungle", which features God Over Money signee Jered Sanders. You can listen to the song below.
You may mean well, but...
I'm sure we've all heard the phrase, "Jesus is the cure for racism!" Or at least some version of the phrase. While I'm sure that those who use the statement and the statement itself mean well, it's ultimately false. It grossly oversimplifies the changes necessary to tackle racism by reducing it to a 'heart' issue, or an ideological problem. This is problematic because it assumes that all will be made well if we merely THINK differently, as opposed to actually DOING different things and BEING different human beings. It would be great if racism ONLY affected the gray matter (or lack thereof) sloshing around inside the human skull. If only. Contrary to popular belief, the opposite is true.
Racism isn't just thinking of oneself as superior to another race. That's prejudice. Racism is MAKING oneself superior to another race.
Now, one could argue that new actions will flow from a new train of thought, and I would mostly agree. However, with specific regard to racism in America, we're talking CENTURIES of embedded policies that have wreaked havoc upon minorities; havoc that isn't undone by simply saying, "sorry" or "Jesus is my homie now!" (insert eyeroll). Racism isn't just thinking of oneself as superior to another race. That's prejudice. Racism is MAKING oneself superior to another race.
Photo provided by Flickr.
Un-rig the board
I'll use a chess board for a quick analogy. A change of heart taking place in the 'creators' of chess would be cute, but that means nothing if the GAME itself is still rigged. When the phrase "Jesus is the cure for racism" is used, the thought that typically accompanies it is "just preach the Gospel", as if the Gospel is merely fire insurance. As if the Gospel doesn't inform how we LIVE. As if the Bible ONLY talks about how to avoid Heaven and Hell, and is silent on what goes on in between. As if people will somehow become afraid enough of Hell to live differently. Nah. That…is a flaccid Gospel!
To say that social justice has no place in the Gospel is tantamount to saying God isn't interested in fairness, or righting wrongs, when that's EXACTLY what He has done and will do!
Isaiah 1:17 and Micah 6:8 both speak to how justice should be sought and how oppression should be corrected. Oppression may not be as overt today as slavery was back then, but it's still very real, and in many ways, covert. Ironically, many of the arguments made against the abolition of slavery are the same ones being made today against social justice! Here's the thing. Police reform needs to happen (murderers caught on camera shouldn't be able to bail themselves out, or essentially throw 'hush money' at the family of the victims, as in the case of Breonna Taylor or Freddie Gray for example). Policies surrounding criminal sentencing need to be grossly adjusted (it shouldn't take months to arrest, indict, charge, and sentence when the evidence is overwhelming). To the say that social justice has no place in the Gospel is tantamount to saying God isn't interested in fairness, or righting wrongs, when that's EXACTLY what He has done and will do!
Photo provided by Flickr.
The REAL cure
The phrase "Jesus is the cure for racism" will actually be relevant when racism has been reduced to prejudice. THEN we can address the people who like to justify death by asking questions like,
"What was their criminal history like?"
"Were they on drugs?"
"Why didn't they just comply?"
Until then, don't waste time arguing with them. BE the change. Speak up. Speak out. Vote. Correct laws. THAT is how we cure racism!
You can also tangibly fight racism by making a statement with our "Racism is a Virus" tee, available here!