Anyone who knows the name Kanye West knows that he is prone to incite controversy. Sunday night’s MTV Video Music Awards were no exception. He arrived wearing a black, apparently pleather shirt and carrying a half consumed bottle of Hennessy accompanied by his girlfriend, Amber Rose, who wore something resembling a skin tight snakeskin pajama outfit. But that was only the beginning.
As country singer, Taylor Swift, who won the award for best female video, was accepting her award, Kanye appears out of nowhere. Snatching the microphone, Kanye proceed to say, “Yo, Taylor, I’m really happy for you, I’ll let you finish, but Beyonce has one of the best videos of all time. One of the best videos of all time!” He returned the mic to Swift and walks of the stage to leave the world to collectively wonder, “What just happened?”
Now, there’s no doubt what Kanye did was absolutely rude and inconsiderate. But can we, as Christians, learn from his outburst? Definitely.
If we’re to follow Kanye’s “example” (for lack of a better term), we must first see the opportunity. While Kanye may not have picked the most opportune time to interject his statement, he saw a window of opportunity. How many times do we have a chance to share the love of Christ with someone and somehow overlook it? We must learn to see the moments that no one else does — the teachable moments — where we can impart some grain of wisdom God has shown us into the lives of those around us.
What good is seeing it if we don’t seize the moment? Once we see the chance to capitalize on the opportunity, we have to take the step, or sometimes, leap of faith and grab the mic. Jesus loved to seize the moment. He took ordinary, day-to-day activities and saw that they could be used for a greater purpose. He took those activities and incorporated them into the parables, one of his most powerful tools.
As we saw with Jesus, once we’ve decided to seize the moment, we have to do perhaps the most crucial step by speaking our piece. Often times this can be the most intimidating part. This is where the rubber meets the road. We must be able to articulate our thoughts into coherent discussions and diatribe. When we speak, we’d be best served if we spoke for our side, rather than against the “opposition” as Kanye did.
While disrespectful in his approach, he never spoke against Swift; rather he spoke only for Beyonce, saying that she had one of the best videos of all time. Notice how he didn’t say Swift’s video was horrible, or that she shouldn’t have won (although he implied it). Here’s the parallel: Christians spend entirely too much time railing about what’s wrong, incorrect, and erroneous with other religions and their beliefs. Instead of putting down “the world” and what they “believe,” why not lift Christ up and let Him draw men to himself, as He said he would. We must offer the love of Christ to those we disagree with. Let’s let our love speak for us rather than constantly bickering with the people Christ has called us to love. The Bible says that the world would know Christ’s disciples by their love; this isn’t specifically directed towards those we agree with. In fact, are we except from loving everyone, regardless of our opinions of them? Absolutely not.
Once we’ve spoken our piece, we must stand firm in our opinions. We must know what we believe. Too often, instead of drawing our own opinions and conclusions, we wait for leaders to tell us what to think & then regurgitate their thoughts. Come to the conclusions for yourself; know what God’s Word says and how you can apply it to your life directly. We can’t ever become dependent on someone else’s revelations for our own lives. It is, at the end of the day, our personal relationship with Christ.
Am I advocating running on the platform, snatching the microphone out of the hand of your pastor or leader the next time you’re in church? No. Please don’t. What you should do is this: be aware of the opportunities all around you. When the right moment presents itself, seize it, speak your piece, and then stand firm in your opinions.