The Tape in my Closet

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry - James 1:19
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry – James 1:19

You know it isn’t just celebrities who have film of them doing things they would rather not have others see, there is film of me doing something which I would rather no one saw. The thing is that whilst with celebrities it might be a sex tape which suddenly surfaces, often thanks to a vengeful ex, the film of me is nothing like that at all. Nope that video tape is from when I was a teenager who with a couple of church friends performed a D.C. Talk rap on stage during one of the church concerts. I would love to tell you that I was pretty fly for a white guy but you can probably guess from me dropping that line that I am not or have ever been fly for a white guy and I have no idea why I even agreed to perform on stage in the first place. And years later, every time I have thought of that night I have cringed, I can even hear the laughter when I stood there centre stage, arms crossed whilst my two friends did the running man either side of me.

The thing is that I can’t change the past but I am grateful that my brief rap career was many years ago as there is only one video tape of that night in existence and is in one person’s hands instead of all over the internet. And that is what would have most likely happened now if I had tried to be fly and rapped because in this day and age someone would have whipped out their phone, filmed it and put it on the net. Heck it might have ended up on one of those TV shows which trawls through online videos looking for something funny, or in truth more often than not embarrassing.

That is the thing about this technology driven world we find ourselves living in where things end up online and you can reply in an instant, we need to really think about are actions, and I don’t just mean when it comes to doing silly things which some one films and they end up online for ever. I am also on about the photos we post of wild nights out and those hasty replies you post on twitter when someone says some thing you disagree with. Back when I was younger you had to send your photos to be developed, if you were angry with some thing someone said you had to visit them, write to them or phone them and there was no mobiles or email back then. And as such things were less messy because you couldn’t do some thing in an instant only to regret it later, you had to think about your actions rather than just doing what you felt right then and there and often that allowed you to weigh up the consequences before doing some thing stupid.

But what you also need to remember is this stuff is there permanently, yes there may be systems which say you can delete your facebook history but other sites may have screenshots of your tweets or those photos you posted. And this stuff has a way of resurfacing to haunt you even when you think you might have dealt with it. Just think about how many times you see a sportsman or woman or celebrity having to apologise for something they said online when they were younger after someone discovers it now.

But here is the great news; God gives us advice on how to live in this modern world in The Bible.

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry – James 1:19 (NIV)

You know time is precious and shouldn’t be wasted but for me using time to listen, think and respond wisely is time well spent as it can often save wasting more time on misunderstandings and mistakes later on.

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh – Galatians 5:16 (NIV)

As Christians we not only have the Spirit to guide us we also have the Word of God and when you live your life prioritising God over our own desires, be it possessions or getting justice, we can avoid some of the mess which engulfs other people’s lives, avoiding problems in the future by doing what is right now.

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good – Romans 12:21 (NIV)

I think it might be human instinct that when ever someone attacks us be it physically or verbally we feel a desire to attack back. But that mostly leads to a tit for tat existence where they then attack back and then you respond trying to hurt them. But we are told to respond to evil with good and so yes that does mean turn the other cheek, take it on the chin, move on and forgive and allow God to deliver justice if it needs to be delivered.

I could go on because when you not only read your bibles but study them you realise that the advice given all those years ago still applies today and trust me the World would be a much better place if we all slowed down, listened, thought and then wisely spoke rather than just responded immediately with are initial thoughts.

There is some thing else that is worth mentioning about my one night only rap career; in the last 20 years only one other person has ever mentioned it to me and that is only because they came across that old video. That is the thing about so many dramas in are lives; those nights when we embarrassed ourselves or when we went out with are shirt on inside out or when as a child in class you called the teacher mum; no one else remembers this stuff, yes a sex tape they are likely to remember but bad rap performance or a stain on a shirt, no. So all those years of dragging this stuff around as proof of past failings and embarrassment is in truth not only punishing ourselves but it is giving the devil ammunition to try and bring you down. I say that because I know when ever I have a chance to do some thing which is a stretch out of my comfort zone those memories of those embarrassments, yes that rap performance, will come back to try and convince me that I failed once, I will fail now and will always fail so why bother.

But do you know what, today when I think about that night and that poor attempt at rapping I laugh and remind myself that even if I did walk out the house today wearing odd shoes or a spot on my face, most people won’t remember I did it in a weeks time because in truth it is unimportant. And that is what we need to remember about those embarrassing things which haunt us, not only will most other people not remember them but most of them are only important if you let them be.

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. - Isaiah 43:18 (NIV)
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. – Isaiah 43:18 (NIV)

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