As I look at our community I am often disheartened by what seems to be skewed priorities. Many of you have had experiences that are similar to mine as you shake your head as you ride down some of our streets and see the condition of our people, financially, socially, morally and spiritually.
We have now welcomed a degenerative society that not only allows but endorses every possible lifestyle that God Himself told us to avoid. To declare that one does not agree with the reduced standard leaves one vulnerable to being labeled intolerant and phobic when the truth is God’s people have an obligation to align with God’s word.
By no means, do the terms, “all and every” apply to the context of which I speak. However, there is a clear need for people within our societal community and especially within our faith community to consider who we are, whose we are and what will we stand for.
MSN reported that Adidas decided to cancel the new line of shoes they created, shown above, that have shackles attached to them. As an African American woman who is a product of not only the black church but of a historically black university, I was intrigued.
My intrigue was not regarding the shoes or the concept, but whether or not my people, people whom I love and am deeply invested in, would see the deep underlying meaning that this type of design represents. I began to think of the many ways our people our shackled. We are, at times, just as shackled mentally now as we were physically in days of old.
Something is wrong with a mentality that celebrates generational poverty as “keeping it real.” Something is wrong when we don’t vote, “because it won’t matter anyway.” Something is wrong when we allow our senior citizens to be impoverished because they can not afford to buy medicine AND buy food while their grandsons roll through the city with $10,000 hub caps on their cars.
I also began to reflect on the many ways in which we have chosen to shackle ourselves. The choices we make often speaks to whether or not we will find ourselves shackled for years to come. Not getting an education, (over 80,000 adults in Milwaukee currently do NOT have a high school education) using drugs (and yes marijuana is a drug), having children out of wedlock, refusing to put the babies we do have in cribs, emasculating men by not having the expectation that they work legal jobs to provide for the families they produce all lead us into a world that will bind us and keep us from being the fullness of who God created us to be. Even worse, many of us chose to be bound by sin and ungodly lifestyles that are hindering our growth.
Most appalling many wear these shackles with pride. We have songs glorifying being a “baby mama” and spend more time celebrating the pimp than the proprietor, the harlot over the housewife and the sinner over the scholar. Our priorities must change and we must seek the face of God in order to be revived.
I shuddered to think that our shackles were so evident and acceptable to people outside our community that having a shoe designed to symbolize our struggles past and present would be not only tolerated, but purchased by the very people whose challenges from the shackles of triangular trade during the Middle passage still have left their impressions on the present generation.
One of the greatest deceptions of the enemy is to make us feel powerless and incapable of making positive life changes. Day and night he works to make us feel that we have to live a bound, sad and overwhelmed life of dissatisfaction and heartache.
However, as believers we know that Christ died, not only that we might have life, but that we would have life more abundantly. The sacrificial death on the cross by Christ enabled us to be free from the things in life that would try to bind us.
This week, take the shackles off of your life. Commit your life to God and be honest about the changes that you need to make. Look around, check your Facebook page, look through your checkbook and your cell phone – what are you shackled to?