My mom often jokes with me that should I ever become famous (NOT something that’s on my Top 10 list of things to be) that I won’t have to worry about tabloids because I tell so much of my own business.
She’s right…for the most part.
I remember when my first book, “Inside of Me” came out and doing a particular Christian radio press interview. The interviewer said to me, “I counted your amount of [sex] partners in the book…it looks like 9 guys here.” My response? “No, it was 13.” I dunno. It just seems easier to live in the light of truth-telling than to stay in the dark.
Now time, a myriad of mistakes and maturity have taught me that I am also an extremist and one of the best things a person, especially a Christian, can be is balanced. The Word does say that the truth makes us free (John 8:32), but it also tells us that love covers a multitude of sins (Proverbs 10:12)…and the truth, my truth, is that most of my testimony deals with more than myself. I am learning to be more sensitive to that. Indeed all things, including testifying, should be done in the spirit of love.
But, that’s actually getting off of the point of today’s blog shout out. As I was doing some entertainment writing for a couple of deadlines this week, I found a theme among some of pop music’s female artists: confessions.
This week’s “US Weekly” issue features a story on R&B artist, Brandy, entitled, “I Never Should Have Lied [About My Fake Marriage]”. In it, there’s a quote from Brandy stating, “I lied because of the fear of what people would think and the pressure
to be a role model. I didn’t want to be seen as not married and having
a baby. For how I was raised, it wasn’t something that should have
happened, but it did. I didn’t want to disappoint people. I’m sorry I
misled my fans. Truly, truly sorry – like, a little bit of tears now. I
was just trying to protect everything that I ever worked for – my
image. I was very young and afraid that people would judge and
There also appears to be a lot of pre-press surrounding Britney Spears’ upcoming “tell-all documentary” on her past several months in which she shares, “I had totally lost my way, lost focus, lost myself” and “I think I married for the wrong reasons...Instead of
following my heart and doing something that made me really happy, I
just did it for the idea of everything.”
Fame, money, power…even if it’s just Billboard and tween fan power, doesn’t keep us from the reality that it always pays to be real, at the very least, with yourself. In the ever so wise and timeless words of William Shakespeare, “To thine own self” we all must be true. Did you notice that when it came to the testimonies of these two women, what motivated them to live a lie was being more concerned about what was going on externally than internally? Brandy faked a marriage to “save face” for engaging in pre-marital sex (and getting pregnant). Britney got married because of what she thought marriage was rather than letting time, experience, maturity and prayerfully God, lead her into the purpose of marriage as it related to her on a personal level.
As I read both stories, I thought about how many times I let the “smoke-and-mirrors” of not just celebrities, but people I see even on a daily basis, lead me into what I call the “Envy Ditch”.
“God, why don’t I have what they have?”
And Shellie…what is it exactly that they have?
Uhh…I don’t know. What I don’t.
Yes, yes. When James said that where envy and self-seeking exist, CONFUSION and every evil thing is there (James 3:16), he ain’t neva lied! First of all, I have learned, sometimes the hard way, that what I don’t have, I don’t yet need. (Psalm 84:11) But what I am coming to also accept is that a big part of the reason why the Bible advises us to mind our own business (I Thessalonians 4:11) is that a lot of times what we think we see is not the truth of the matter, but a lie. The flip side to this coin is that the energy that I sometimes put into other people’s “life lies”, if I actually put it into the reality of my own truth—the good, bad, ugly and indifferent—I could create the kind of life that I want…and what’s really great about that is that it has the potential to not only be good…but REAL…HONEST…TRUTHFULLY blissful. Not overnight…but eventually. Not just in my strength, but with God’s help.
I say all of this to say that lot of people who write me share how much they are living a lie due to the shame of their porn/sex addiction. Now, I don’t expect everyone to be like me and confess it all to the world, but the Bible does say that in confession, there is healing (James 5:16)….Christ did say that the truth is what makes us free.
If you are a Christian reading this, remember what John 8:36 (NKJV) assures us:
“Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”
There’s no condemnation in Christ (Romans 8:1)…don’t let the lies from the Enemy (John 10:10) tell you otherwise. Determine in your mind to live your truth by facing who you are, where you are and what you do. You’ll be amazed what happens when you do. I’m sure it was freeing…healing…liberating for Brandy and Britney to get all of those “life lies” off of their chest, and I’ve come to realize that a really cool thing happens when you do. You get respect…most importantly, self-respect.
…one of the first steps to breaking any addiction, for sure—for good.