So, Steve and I went on a date last Sunday! In the beginning our “dating” life consisted of (separately) drinking ourselves into a stupor on a few different occasions, hanging out a couple times, then moving in together. My, how times have changed! Sunday our date consisted of church, lunch with the kids, then off to see a movie all by ourselves!
Y’all should know that if I go to the movies there has to be something really good playing because I despise going to the movies! The fact of the matter is it simply pisses me off! Here’s why….$5 bottled water. $4 Snicker’s Bites. $5 Coke. On top of paying an outrageous price for tickets! That, my friends is why I hate going to the movies. Ok, now that my rant is over, I can tell you what movie looked so good that it warranted my presence. Before I do though, I must remind you that the bible says “judge not lest ye be judged”:-). We saw Straight Outta Compton!
All I can say is I LOVED IT! And I don’t care who knows it! Here’s what I know. The music they produced truly is awful. And I’m not speaking about the talent of those young men, in the group NWA! Not at all! I firmly believe they were/are brilliant, and I personally, love that genre of music. However, it’s not something God will remotely allow me to partake of anymore because I can’t listen to it without reverting back to my thug-like ways. What? Y’all didn’t know? I wuz straight thuggin’ back in da day! Well, not so much really. But, I did pump more than my fair share of NWA through the speakers of my Ford Escort! To this day I still remember the lyrics. Some of them now make me cringe, but I know them nonetheless. And that is why we need to be careful what gets into your hearts and minds! Once something’s in your mind, it’s there, and it’s not going away! Anyway, that music was such a part of my life BC (before Christ) that I deemed it necessary to watch the movie, and to see the story behind the music. Dare I say, the language in this movie was less than desirable, but that’s how they spoke. Plus, a person I consider to be a wise bible scholar once told me, “I don’t be trippin’ over words. Sometimes dey just be a cultural thang.” That’s not exactly how he said it, but close :-). Plus, in the book The Shack, a fictional story about a man’s journey with God, the man walks in to find “God” listening to rap music. This shocks the man so he remarks about how he can’t believe that God is listening to rap. God, unaffected by the man’s reaction says, “You don’t understand though, I don’t just hear the lyrics, I hear their hearts.” That statement stuck with me. Even though The Shack was a fictional book, it helped me realize just how our God is capable of loving everyone, and just how incapable, in my human frankness, I am of truly loving anyone! God sees people’s hearts, and we can’t! Without Jesus, I, nor anyone else, can really know how to love. There have been so many times I’ve been guilty of judging people by their appearances or on first impressions instead of asking God to help me see them through His eyes. Which is sort of what happened in Straight Outta Compton. Those guys were judged because of their looks and the town in which they lived. Because they were black, and from Compton, the cops automatically assumed they were up to no good. . Because the cops jumped to conclusions, it left thise guys with a bad taste in their mouths toward anyone in authority. Now, it’s never ok to be disrespectful to people in authority, however, I can totally understand having no respect for them.
It took me years, and I mean way into my 30’s to respect authority. Mrs. Groat and Mrs. Bearden, my second and third grade teachers, took care of that when I was 7 and 8 years old. They abused their authority, and because of that, there were very few teachers I liked. They shaped the rest of my school years. When you don’t know who you are in Christ, it’s very easy to let someone’s opinion of you dictate how you feel about others in the same position, and even yourself. That’s why I can understand how those guys had zero respect for police officers and the like. And from how things were portrayed in the movie, I’m fairly certain neither of those guys had (or maybe still don’t have) a clue who they are in Christ! Which brings me to this… I believe that when it comes to God, salvation, and spiritual things in general, we tend to overlook celebrities. I know I get caught up in the gossip and tabloid crap, and think very little about their souls. For some reason watching SOC got me to thinking. These people, who play in these movies, they are people just like us who, should they die not knowing Jesus, will go straight to hell! And if they thought Compton was bad?? It ain’t nothin’ compared to hell! Shouldn’t we, as Christians, be more worried about the souls of celebrities rather than the horrendous gossip we hear about them? Shouldn’t we say a prayer for them rather than contributing to the fodder? I’m going to try and do that from now on.
I’m proud to say that now, I have respect for those who have authority over me. Not because they all deserve it, mind you, but because I love Jesus! Im also proud to say that I give Straight Outta Compton two thumbs up! I laughed, I cried, I cringed, and after the movie, I felt as if I knew those guys. Hear me out please. The movie was not wholesome at all! They lived a bad lifestyle, so don’t take your children to see this movie. And don’t think I’m saying it’s ok to listen to filthy music. It’s not. I’m just saying that I had to refrain from clapping a few times, but considering we were the only white couple in the theater, I felt the need to act a little more cool, and thug-like than usual. Thankfully, Steve stopped me just before I leapt from my seat, while waving my hands in the air like I just didn’t care. And thankfully the Holy Spirit stops me (when I listen) from judging people solely on appearances.
Let’s take the time to get to know a person before we form an opinion of them. And no matter our opinion of the person, let’s treat them with love and compassion, even if they’re celebrities!
“The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
“Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” John 7:24
If there’s anyone else out there who will admit to seeing Straight Outta Compton I’d love to hear your thoughts.