One of my favorite styles of music is Christian rap. Think: Lecrae. And as a twenty-something girl from the suburbs, rap may not be the music you peg me as liking.
But what I love about Christian rap–more than any other style of music–is the raw authenticity. Maybe because rappers spit the lyrics so quickly that it's hard to keep up, but knuckling down and listening to the words reveals a deep honesty.
And being so publicly real is a rarity.
Andy Mineo is a rapper under the same record label as Lecrae. A track on his second album is called "Superhuman," and the point of the song is to talk about how when he's on stage, people view him as an infallible example of Christ. Why would he be performing if he wasn't a good depiction? These are some of the lyrics of his first verse of "Superhuman:"
"The grace that I talk about in all of my records
I need it for myself because I'm really just a mess
Finding rest from the pressures of perfection.
Once I step up on this stage people are expecting
Me to be a man without flaws
I'm just another rapper that's called to point y'all to the cross."
He has lofty expectations for himself that he can't fill–and thousands of people expect him to be flawless and to live this incredible life. If we're honest with ourselves, we expect our spiritual leaders, whether they're a pastor or a rapper, to be sinless. If we're even more honest, we oftentimes expect perfection out of ourselves.
Everyone strives to fill the expectations set for them, and imperfection seems unacceptable from anyone–leaders and friends alike. We try to constantly put ourselves in the shining light of perfection because we believe that people expect us to be flawless.
Instagram. Facebook. Twitter. Snapchat. We find the best angles of ourselves to present to the world and pretend our hearts don't ache for someone to just please accept us as we are.
What we're totally missing, though, is we have already been accepted. Loved even if we're a mess. Jesus' sacrifice on the cross calls us to come to him with all our pains and flaws with the promise that He'll take care of us.
The reality we have to accept is that no one–no one–is perfect. We can't expect it of others, and we certainly can't expect it of ourselves. Jesus is the only one who met the standard. We are loved by God just because, not because of.
Hebrews 10:22 says, "Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water."
Linley McCord, a student at Texas A&M University, is currently serving as a joint Communications Intern for both the Baptist Standard and the Texas Baptists.