I know I wasn’t the only one shocked when Kanye West came out publicly declaring his newfound Christian faith, and if I’m brutally honest, upon first hearing the news I responded with a raised eyebrow. I mean, when someone has a prior reputation that doesn’t exactly mirror what the Bible teaches, you kinda wonder. When their life wasn’t previously known for being Christ-like, you have your doubts. But then I remembered I had a past too. If paparazzi had blasted photos of my prior escapades across the glossy pages of gossip mags, you wouldn’t put an iota of stock into any word I wrote here. My past would define me; not the God who had saved me. To the world, anyway.
I then realized the only difference between me and Kanye (other than he raps and I write) was our sphere of influence. And maybe that my past was more sordid. Regardless of who was the bigger sinner, our main distinction came in the fact that Mr. West was a huge celebrity, whereas I had 2,100 people subscribed to my email list. So, while everyone was questioning his conversion, no one had really noticed mine ten years ago.
The fact was, though, that I wasn’t alone in my initial doubt of Kanye finding Jesus. Most people were shocked and skeptical, but while we were busy questioning a man’s motives, he was busy proclaiming the gospel. And while we were carrying out God’s role alone of judgment, Kanye was letting his light shine, no matter the cost.
See, here’s what all the questioning Christians are missing. While we’re busying ourselves with condemning a man who only God can truly see, we’re missing out on the important business. Mr. West, though, is not. He seems to be the only one focused on Kingdom purposes concerning His salvation. The Christian world is questioning his sincerity, but Kanye is questioning his fellow man’s eternity.
I discovered a couple of years ago that we are all on the mission field, no matter who you are. As a nurse I’ve cried with a clinically depressed man after a failed suicide attempt, and I’ve also told a drug addict it’s not too late for her. I’ve set up a safe escape plan for a sex-trafficked woman, and I’ve supported too many people to count through their grief. So while I’ve clinically saved physical lives in my job, I’ve also spiritually saved more than my fair share. I have been the only light of a Christ someone has known, and the first loving care they’ve experienced in years. I’ve cared for the homeless without disdain, for the HIV patient without judgment, and the criminal with as much compassion as I would any VIP. In fact, my only regret is that it took me so long to realize the ministry God was placing before me each and every day.
I guess the question is, how many of us are raising an eyebrow as Kanye talks about Christ, yet we don’t mention the Lord in public at all? How many of us are calling him a fake, but we can’t even call the people around us who need help a friend? How many of us are focused on watching to see if Kanye will fall, but we ourselves are slipping? How many of us look at him with skepticism, but meanwhile we remain silent for Jesus out of fear?
You know what? I have no idea if Kanye West is sincere in his faith. I have an idea, based on his countenance and things he’s said, but I don’t really know. You see, it’s not really my concern; that’s between him and God. But here’s what I do need to be concerned about. My. Own. Actions.