Bring back those simple times of yesterday
When a man was a man
And a friend was a friend
Bring back those simple times of yesterday
When you said what you meant
And you meant what you said.
I grew up listening to this song, Simple Days, in the 90s. Back then, Kenneth Brian Edmonds, the man popularly known as Babyface, was a major hit. My girlfriends and I loved his songs because we considered him quite good looking. But when I revisit the words of this song, I think this 11-time Grammy Award winner wasn’t an ordinary songwriter. The man was onto something.
In a world of instant everything, our relationships have morphed into exactly that. Instant. It’s true, some relationships are seasonal, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I just think that genuine relationships are proving difficult to find. Authentic has become a rare matter.
Why? I believe the answer lies in the fact that people no longer want to be told the truth, many others not wanting to unveil their masks.
Check out the social media platforms and you will see pictures that tell a story of great ‘success’, and yet, we all know that some of the lives depicted are a lie. Life’s struggle is real, making us desire and be covetous, at times, of some of our tweecelebs, FBcelebs and instagramcelebs.
Look at our places of work. We know of that colleague that doesn’t put in extra effort, yet seems to be the one shining. But will we ever face them with the truth? No. We’ll just complain behind their back, never confronting them about their poor state of work or the fact that they keep missing work or critical deadlines. And still keep the smiles.
What about the ones we know that are involved in criminal activities like broad daylight theft and we don’t do anything to save our organizations? Complains be damned, we lie to ourselves.
Look at our churches. We, as Christians, are quick to point fingers when one of us is caught in sin, caught in improper moments, quick to look for someone to share the story with. Judging the scandalously dressed lady is our in-thing. But addressing her honestly, even through proper channels? No please. We know she’s not dressed appropriately but, heck, we’ll be the first to tell her just how great she looks!
Or the congregant that is straying in ways of alcoholism, sexual immorality, drug abuse, lying, gossiping or whichever other way that is not right. We fear calling them out, feeling it’s easier turning the other way as opposed to confronting them. But why? Because some are heavy tithers, support church projects in tremendous ways, have done well in the corporate circles, are moneyed, and as a result, we choose to turn a blind eye.
Even that pastor, whose ways in respect to money, opposite sex or accountability are questionable. But no, not even those close to him or her, will dare utter a word to the anointed one. Saying the truth to any of these situations may cost us our positions, our relations, causing us to be abandoned by the very same people we serve.
Consider our leaders, especially those in the political sphere. A majority of them, as we all know, are corrupt. And yet, in the heat of political rivalry and shenanigans, tribal inclinations become our port of call, following the leaders who steal our money with reckless abandon, all in the name of ‘your vote counts’. Yes, your vote does count. But shouldn’t it be used to call out and oust a number of them currently holding positions they ought not to?
Look at the friends we have. Some will embark on wrongful ways. But silent we will be, cheering them on to their graves. There are those that are only in our circles because of what they offer. And others, well, aren’t we glued to their social media posts because they feed us with matters to discuss?
How about our relationships, be it in the dating scene or in marriage. A wife resists submission and is disrespectful, a husband is prone to abusing physically. Or the mother who has failed to address the fact that the child doesn’t respect authority, since she always gives excuses for her child’s behavior. Or the spouse that gives excuses for their spouse’s behavior for fear of being left.
We could go on…
We live in a society that is so self-centered. It is about me, myself and I and no one else. Hearing the truth can be, at times, quite hard. It can get ugly, it does get ugly. It makes us not get around people who can be honest with us. It makes us give a tongue-lashing to those who call us out, urging them to keep off, telling them their opinion is not wanted or even warranted.
People will choose not to approach others due to the fear of repercussions. Better to walk on eggshells, they think. I have been accused of calling out some people a couple of times, and as a result, a number of them have steered clear of my path. Probably I should consider how I say it more and more so that I’m sensitive to those whose hearts are not that strong. But shouldn’t I be honest? Shouldn’t I tell them? Shouldn’t I keep it real? Shouldn’t we?
I am guilty of not being forthright with some of my friends. Many times. However, I thank God for those amongst the many who have called me out when I was stuck in my sinful, wrongful ways. Those that told me the truth in black and white. I owe it to them for helping me find my way, albeit in difficult circumstances.
That said, I know that some things are better said by people who have earned our trust. There is also a manner in which the truth must be set out. For example, the Bible recommends facing someone in private but if the person fails to hear you out, you can approach him or her with 2 witnesses. If this fails, tell the church and if that fails, leave the person alone.
So I will ask, who is standing for the truth? Who is fighting for authenticity?
I am reminded that the Lord is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Truth. Hard matter. May we follow His example.
We really need to say what we mean and mean what we say. We need to keep it real.
“These are the things you to ought to do: Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts; do not plot evil against each other, and do not love to swear falsely. I hate all this,” declares the Lord. Zechariah 8:16-17 NIV
Bring back those simple times of yesterday…