June is Black Music Month! To celebrate, each of our EmpowerMoments will be based on Black music for the entire month. This includes Black songwriters, producers or performers. Stay tuned as we use various genres of Black music to tell our stories and exemplify the beauty of God’s love! He can be found virtually anywhere if we earnestly look for Him and listen intently! Happy Black Music Month! Dance as if no one is watching!
“Seems as though you lost sight
Of what’s important when depositin’
Them checks into your bank account
And you up out of poverty
Your values are in disarray, prioritizin’ horribly
Unhappy with the riches ’cause you’re piss poor morally
Ignorin’ all prior advice and forewarnin’
And we mighty full of ourselves all of a sudden, aren’t we?” – TI
A few weeks ago, I was listening to “Live Your Life” by TI and as many times as I have heard these lyrics this time they resonated in a different way. While TI’s emphasis was on rappers who have changed because they “made it,” my mind immediately began to think of our current culture of materialism. We have become fixated on celebrity culture, which tells us what to wear; what alcoholic beverage to consume; what car we should drive; who we should have in our friend circle and the list continues. Social media, which encourages us to take a picture and share our experiences and materialism with a group of people (whom we wouldn’t talk to on a normal basis), further breeds this behavior. We are doing it for the vine, the likes and the applause.
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. I Timothy 6:6-10 KJV
As TI said we are ignoring all advice and forewarning. Timothy forewarns us with a message that is thousands of years old about the destruction that results from a life of “chasing paper.” While I don’t think that there is anything wrong with having money, the scripture is very careful to point out that the love of money is the root of all kinds evil. Roots are the foundation from which plants grow. Normally, roots are hidden below ground and we can see the resulting flower above ground. If loving money is just the root (our foundation), which means that the actual plant (us) displays the evil characteristics. Our evils are displayed in a variety of methods. In the paper chase, we continue to shave off morals as we forget what’s most important in life.
Ecclesiastes 1:9 tells us that there is nothing new under the sun. While the times may have changed, we are repeating the same patterns that Timothy spoke against thousands of years ago. As our lives are enriched with financial and material possessions, we must not lose our true foundation.
In this journey of “living your life,” we must earnestly question what we are doing and for whom are we doing it? Are we people pleasers or are we God pleasers? Our validation should come from Him. If our foundation is built on seeking the Kingdom of God first, Jesus has already told us that the things we desire will come. (Matthew 6:33) We won’t have to degrade our morals to get attention leading to a life of unhappiness. As we continue to increase, we will make sure our lives are a reflection of the one who made it so.
Remove any spirit from me, which seeks the approval of men over You. Let my values be in alignment with Your will so that everything I do is holy and acceptable to You. As You continue to provide increase in my life, let me keep stock of what’s important. Instead of chasing material possessions that someone else has encouraged me to buy and display remind me that all of these things are for naught if I don’t have You. Continue to strengthen my foundation as I seek the things that are pleasing to Your kingdom. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
As you listen to TI and Rihanna in Live Your Life, reflect on your own life and what’s driving your actions.
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Ms. Chancee` Lundy lives in Washington, DC and is an entrepreneur as she is the co-owner of Nspiregreen, LLC, an environmental consulting firm. She is also a dedicated daughter, sister, friend and community servant. She has used her gift of public speaking to lead workshops across the globe speaking to crowds as large as 10,000 people. Her guiding scriptures this week are Philippians 4:11-13 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me