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The Seed of Relationship (Friends: How Many Of Us Have Them??? How Many Of Us Are Them???)
Something pierced me in the heart the other day concerning someone I KNOW to be giving and encouraging and supportive; that out of all their years building and creating opportunity for, working for and alongside so many different artists and venues, I was the only artist that had been a friend to them. Some people with pride would have taken that revelation and slept well; it bothered me.
As a HUGE proponent of relationship building (primarily because it’s what advances the KINGdom), and with the understanding that spiritual principles are at work (or should be) in every scenario, I get the seed aspect of this thing. Scripture makes it pretty plain:
Proverbs 18:24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. Basically, if you want good friends, you can’t be a jerk. I get it. But what happens when you ARE friendly, diligent, consistent, pure in motive, accommodating, gracious, endearing? Let’s be fair before we’re direct.
Bear in mind that every seed doesn’t reap an immediate harvest; there are some people who’ve been sowing for years into or towards something, only to not have seen the harvest yet. Rest assured, though, GOD is faithful and true to HIS WORD. It is, however, unfair to feel as though we can be inconsistent, conniving, deceptive, and unappreciative and still believe we should receive in spite of; inconsistency is a seed that deserves a reward, as well. We can’t not be to people what we believe people should be to us; even common sense says, “You haven’t put that in the bank, why should you be able to take that out???” This pertains to all circles and dynamics of relationship, especially with artists.
All that being said, I have a question: why aren’t we building more genuine relationships that extend beyond the booth, off the stage, and into the hearts??? Are we, as artists (and primarily CHRISTians, which I KNOW we tend to put less emphasis on) so poorly invested into that we have nothing to give fellow co-laborers??? Why are we making music, then, if the music is all we’ve got? How can you tell there aren’t enough real, authentic relationships in the fields of ministries that involve performing arts? Two things: 1) you wouldn’t see as many people, in particular artists, dealing with the things they deal with alone, and 2) you would see more accountability and less compromising amongst artist (and I KNOW you can’t make grown folks do anything they don’t want to, but…). If I’m ok with letting you do “you” as long as you “put me on“, I’m a fake and don’t deserve not only your friendship, but the platform I’ve been afforded. I’m tired of seeing the extremely gifted ripped off by bandwagoners, available as long as the opportunities and notoriety are. I need someone I can address my shortcomings with, someone who can and will hold me accountable. What if there’s something in my personal life that’s hindering my ministry? Aren’t I better off having a friend who will tell me that?? Isn’t my audience better off, as well??? Shouldn’t they be my priority since they’re GOD’s priority????
This blog is a brief departure from the way we usually minister, as I’m a little more impassioned about this subject, in particular. I see, everywhere I go, people suffering from neglect, whether recipients of or self-inflicted, especially those with visible platforms. Gifts are far too often unwrapped, with disregard to both content and container; people just want what they think they see, or want others to think they see something that’s not there. GOD is MAJORLY grieved when we wring out of people what HE’s placed in them, only to leave them dry and to figure out replenishing on their own.
If you want to have a friend, be a friend: no strings, no secrets, no hidden agendas, just relationship. If you can’t be a friend, don’t fake it; pray and ask GOD to deliver you because right now, you’re doing more harm than good; to yourself, included. If you have friends, appreciate them and let them do their part. If you’re faithful and don’t seem to have the friend(s) you need just yet, hang on; as long as GOD is your best friend, HE’ll send you whomever else you need. Keep sowing.
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