(Photo by http://www.southpawer.com)
I’ve heard “Rap God.” I’ve heard “Rap devil.” I’ve listened to Eminem since childhood back when my Dad would sneak my sister and I into his Ford pickup to play “The Real Slim Shady” while my Mom hadn’t a clue. Now that I am a Christian and I listen to mostly Christian music, not because I feel like I have to but because I get the privilege to be living at the peak of some of the greatest worship music in the world today.
I don’t tend to tune in to what’s going on in the rap world because I want to guard my ears from what may enter. “Garbage in, garbage out,” as someone coined. But I’ve always liked Eminem for a couple of reasons:
First, I identify with the stress to be a perfectionist. It’s something I want to do naturally and yet the anomaly is what has come from it in the past is nothing more than more stress than is worth.
Now I strive for progress over perfection.
Since becoming a real Christian at 14 years old I’ve had to put perfectionism behind me. Jesus is the only perfect one. I’m content in that. It’s actually freeing to give up control in order to rest in God. Yeah I still work hard, but now I know I can work from a place of rest, not rest from a place of work. God is my refuge and my rest. I’m secure in that. I don’t work for my eternity; it’s a gift given to me and now I’m compelled to work for Him. That’s what “salvation” means.
The second thing I can appreciate about Eminem is that he is an actual lyrical and musical genius. I appreciate what he creates because it is a reflection of someone made in the image of God. No, I don’t believe he’s not a believer so he is yet to become a child of God. But that’s different from being an image bearer. Everyone is a reflection who bears the image of God.
We create because the Creator created us to.
With that said I admire the creative genius that Eminem puts in the very minute details of his work. I don’t mention MGK much because I’m not very familiar with his music however I see the same creative genius in the music I have heard.
The Feud and What it Speaks about Us
I was drawn into the feud between the two artists after I saw MGK release a song called “rap devil” calling out Eminem. I think it’s funny. From what I gather MGK made a tweet over 6 years ago about Eminem’s daughter talking about her looks. He didn’t intentionally mean to offend Em but he might’ve expected it, given it’s his daughter. So Eminem released a surprise album just a few weeks ago commenting on MGK and calling him out for this.
The fact that Eminem would feel the need to respond shows the tweet not only got to him but that he’d want to invest energy in shooting something back. So indeed he did. Now MGK made his song calling out Eminem. Eminem heard this and released a song called “killshot” firing back at him. It was yet more genius commenting on every line that MGK had put out.
Here’s what caught my attention. In listening to both of their follow-up interviews on this I noticed a common theme. They were offended. They harbored their offenses and instead of releasing them, the reacted on behalf of them. And so the offense continued. Rage begets rage. Anger begets anger. Insult begets insult. There is no peace and quiet in the rap game at this moment. BUT WHAT DOES THAT SAY ABOUT US?
We naturally all want to react when we are offended. How can you tell when someone is truly affected by someone else’s comments? They hold on to it. Don’t you know this feeling so well? You think “But if I let it go then they’d be getting off the hook.. so easily. Too easily.”
No, if you’d forgiven and had become immovable from offense you’d realize forgiveness gives you the power to release it. The only one getting off the hook of your own fishing line would be…you.
There it is. The one word that sparks bitterness: Offense.
I read a life changing book on this very topic. I knew God wanted me to read it when 3 separate people, some of them strangers, told me about it. Yes, they told me about the same book! Look at God! One of the people was a Christian friend from college. Another was a Christian I’d met in a waiting room.
I will attach a picture of the book I’m talking about at the bottom because I couldn’t recommend it more.
The key to breaking free from offense is forgiveness. But you cannot properly fully forgive unless you FIRST realize how much you’ve been FORGIVEN. Any offense you receive is nothing at all compared to all of the ones you’ve racked up against God Himself.
After reflecting about the rap battle, I realize more and more and more the power I have within. Christ has actually given me a new Spirit, His Spirit, but also a new way to live. Instead of shooting back, I feel solid in His identity. I feel secure. This is different from defending yourself. Standing up for yourself is something I do and do advocate, but offending someone simply because they’ve offended you is retaliation. It is what the Bible says not to do. “Do not avenge yourselves.”
May you be blessed today and may you find Jesus! He has the power! His way is way better than ours. He has wisdom. All of his words are wise. Find Him, find Life.
Photo from “Christian book.com”
GET THIS BOOK!
September 21st, 2018