“For me to say I wasn’t a genius, I would be lying to you and to myself.”
~straight faced Kanye West
Ok. So there is MUCH I could say about Kanye West. The one thing I don’t want to come from this post is for people to think that I am supporting him and encouraging people to go out and buy his albums. My first allegiance is to Jesus Christ and I try to live in a way that reflects such. For me to encourage people to buy a Kanye West album would confuse what I believe and who and what I stand for. That being said, as troubled, mixed up and confused as he is, the guy ain’t all bad. He makes some good points. Sometimes. Like in his recent interview with Jimmy Kimmel.
So, I first heard about the interview in a conversation between the ladies of The View last week. The table was split with differing opinions around the portion of the interview from which the above quote was taken. Some of the women felt that it was appropriate for West to tout and give himself props and respect for his talent, skill and vast array of contributions. Others felt that it was too much and that in general it’s better to let others tell you how great you are rather than tell the world about your greatness. There’s a strong argument for either side but, for this one (JUST this one), I’m going with Kanye. . . kind of.
I thought of many things regarding Kanye’s comments after I took a few minutes to gather myself from laughing so hard at him. Not that I thought he was joking, but the contrary. The sincerity and seriousness in his delivery incited an uproar of laughter. It was just that good to me. Who says of themselves that they are genius? In fact, most of my life I was encouraged to do the complete opposite and it (with suitable accomplices) produced a girl who struggled with low self esteem, low self concept, masquerading with false humility and an inability to appropriately accept a compliment. So where I start to lean toward Kanye’s perspective is slight, but enough to say it’s okay to say you’re great . . .so long as you know why and how.
For by the grace (unmerited favor of God) given to me I warn everyone among you not to estimate and think of himself more highly than he ought [not to have an exaggerated opinion of his own importance], but to rate his ability with sober judgment, each according to the degree of faith apportioned by God to him. ~Romans 12:3 (AMP)
Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. ~2 Corinthians 3:5 (NIV)
It is no more right to walk around pretending to have low to mediocre talent when you know you exemplify excellence an area than it is to walk around replaying your own commercial on your greatness. So many of us, present company included, need to be convinced, repeatedly, of the ways that God has gifted us thereby delaying our participation in His plans for us, and stubbing our effectiveness in being salt and light wherever He has placed us on the earth. Kanye was on to something but, dear one that he is, until he comes to know, truly know Christ, he’ll only and always be great in his own eyes (as well as a devoted family and a few wool-eyed, adoring fans) and will be unlikely to cease his work of convincing other people of it.
When you know that you are great because you have believed and received Christ’s great sacrifice and walk in the ways that He has especially and specifically called and gifted you for His purposes there are certain benefits. Namely, you don’t suffer from identity crisis– you know who you are and whose you are. The chances of you identifying yourself by anything other than who God says you are, are slim. Should satan grab hold of your mind and cause you to question, you reach for your manual (the Bible) for reminders. You greet each day in light of your calling and you surrender your purposes to His will for your life. You stand up a little straighter and you dare not compare yourself to others because you realize that you have your own work to do. As provocative as it may be to hear Kanye call himself a genius, believers in Christ are tied to greatness in an unshakable way and we don’t have to shout it out. But when He reveals His glory to us time and time again, we seem to do that anyway because we come to understand that our greatness is but a mere, faint shadow of the power source enabling us to show up everyday.
I’ve posted the last part of the interview here. Watch it if you’d like but, save a psych eval from an unprofessional, after watching it I have compassionately added him to my prayer list as I sincerely feel for him. I posted it because as Kanye was talking about what his mother told him to believe, I could only think about my relationship with Christ and what my heavenly Father, through His word, has told me to believe. Can’t go wrong with that. #tryJesus
Photo Credit: http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2013/06/20/kanye-wests-yeezus