Over the past year or so I have received numerous messages, texts, and calls from people who have been inspired by things I’ve said or posted. They congratulate me on “having it together” and “succeeding in running multiple successful businesses”. If you knew me years ago, you can truly appreciate how wild it is to be getting those comments. My life today is vastly different to what it was years ago. Though my spirit was still the same, my persona was a hot mess!
I was literally out at the club or someone’s house party 3 days out of the week and was down for anything!
“Hey Joc, you want to get drunk, go to a haunted trail and get lost in the woods?” — SURE
“Hey Joc, there are like 5 parties going on tonight, you tryna hit all of em up?” – YOU KNOW THIS!
“Hey Joc, it’s Penny Liquor Thursdays at the club and free well drinks until 11pm, but the club don’t get popping until 11:30; what time you tryna go?” – 9
“Hey Joc, since we’re low on cash, want to put our money together, throw on some cds an throw an OBAMA Election party?” — HECK YEAH!
Need I say more?
Now I am living a renewed life in Christ. And while I am living differently, it’s honestly more of a challenge than life was like before. I see my Christian walk like this: When I was cutting a fool, doing whatever I wanted to, the devil didn’t really care because I was already headed for destruction. I like to see him wandering around the Earth with his check list saying “Ok, she’s already headed for death, hell, and the grave….next!” It wasn’t until I decided to turn my life around FOR REAL and FOR GOOD that he gave me that Snuggle-face like, “Wait a minute, what’s going on here. What’s all this talk about Christ? Oh no, I gotta get on my job!” So he comes at me more. The only difference is that now I know and expect him to come after me, to make me trip up. That’s why I pray and try my best to not just SPEAK Christ, but LIVE Him as well. It’s sad to say, but “modern” Christians come a dime a dozen these days. You know, the ones who will condemn you for stealing or lying, but on the down low shacking up with their secret lover. You know the ones who will fall all out in church, then step right outside and cuss somebody up Monday and down Sunday. The ones who ALWAYS posting scripture, but steady at the club or somebody’s house turning up with wine or that white liquor. See I am not that type of Christian. I take my walk with Christ seriously! It is not easy by ANY means because the life I used to live had its fun elements. I’d be lying if I told you otherwise. I still have to fight thoughts of abandoning the celibacy that I’ve managed to hold on to for almost 4 years and counting – but I do. It’s not easy deciphering what’s a “good harmless time” and what’s reverting back to old ways – but I do it. I do it because I know that people are watching me and someone’s relationship with Christ may hinge on how they see me act. And while it may seem “unfair” to tone down what I do because of what others may say – I know it’s necessary because it’s essentially MY WITNESS. As a Christian, your witness is virtually the only way people can tell you apart from the rest of the world.
In Matthew 7: 15-20 Jesus said, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.”
Your fruit is the way you walk and live. You can talk to someone about the bible until you’re blue in the face, but if they can worship with you at church, and turn up with you at the strip club every weekend – you are not bearing good fruit. SO I will wrap up with this. While I am thankful for all of your encouragement, and literally have my day made when you let me know that you can see Christ in me – I’m still a work in progress. I don’t wake up and effortlessly flee temptation or bad thoughts – it’s WORK! I fight discouragement, I fight naysayers, I fight the spirit of comparison daily – but through God’s strength I’m doing it and YOU can do it too. You have to cut some folk loose. You have to “be lame” and stay home from the all night partying. You have to stop posting racy pictures online and leave those attention seeking thirst traps alone. I am doing it and SO CAN YOU. – Joc