I wasn’t sure how I wanted to address this…but in light of Sunday Best winner and Grammy winner LeAndria Johnson confirming her pregnancy and the uproar it caused, I just wanted to know how some of you felt. I’ve been asked a few times what I thought about the situation, and really I was torn. It hurt and I was disappointed to hear about her pregnancy out-of-wedlock, but I also felt a need to stand up for her. I knew that she would face an onslaught of criticism. I knew that this would be an “I told you so” type of situation for some and a “Judge me not” type of situation for others. I am really interested in skipping over what’s been done already and focus on what happens now. Some are calling for LeAndria to be “sat down”, others are altogether cancelling her and her ministry out as if she’s now tainted and can no longer do any good.
I think back to David and the many times he messed up, but yet he remained anointed by God and king of Israel. Why do we feel like when someone in the public eye (in the gospel community) messes up they are no longer good for the kingdom? Why is it that there is this landslide of criticism before anyone offers up wise counsel or prayer?
So how do I feel? I feel she was wrong, I feel that she stepped out of the will of God. But I believe that she has repented and I pray for her restoration back into music ministry. I don’t believe that what she has been singing about is now void, as the messages came from God. It hurts that she’s going through this, but she is going to have to do better in her faith walk, and make wiser choices in the future. God gives us the freedom to choose. We can choose to worship and serve Him, whether we are called or anointed to do something or not. I feel that because she is choosing to be in the public eye, with a music ministry, she has to uphold the standard. Aunt May told Peter Parker that with great power comes great responsibility (the bible also says that to whom much is given much is required). So we can’t get mad when we mess up and have to face that criticism, the correction and suffer the consequences.
I think that when we get ’caught’ in our sins, we instantly start saying “don’t judge me”, “who are you to judge” and so forth. I feel like that mindset becomes a crutch and it starts the restoration process off on the wrong foot. We have to be careful not to fall into self-pity and pride. We have to make sure that we don’t become so defensive of our actions when tough criticism or judgements come to us. Just because someone steps in to offer a word of correction (especially if its bible based) doesn’t mean that they are unjustly judging you. I believe that we as christian brothers and sisters, are supposed to look out for each other and hold each other accountable to upholding the word of God, especially if you are in ministry. Yes, LeAndria was wrong, and she’ll suffer her consequences, but she’ll grow and learn her lesson and be better equip to carry on the ministry she has and serve God in right spirit. We all sin and fall short of the grace and mercy of God. For many of us though, there is no microscope and bright lights to expose us as easily as it is for others. We all have the charge to uphold Gods standard for our lives. LeAndria could be and is easily one of us.
Now, I’m not sure of this “movement” that LeAndria has now decided to start. I don’t know if this is something that she was planning on doing prior to all of this coming forth, but I just pray that she’s getting wise counsel, and has prayed to God to order her steps in this. Ideally, from what I know, “the movement” sounds like something that is needed, because the church folks do have a bad habit of casting out and shaming folks who mess up. But I don’t want folks to start thinking I can do whatever I want and take advantage of Gods forgiveness and grace. I mean honestly how many times have you decided to do something because you told yourself, “it’s okay God will forgive me, He forgave me last time”? We have to be able to be willing to be held accountable. Yes, God loves you, yes He knows your heart and yes He will forgive you, but He calls us to do better! We have to make better decisions. (sidenote: can someone explain to me what “I did not kill to be killed” means?)
The church folks have to better too. We have to be more compassionate to those who fall into sin. We can’t allow them to feel like it’s not worth coming out of it. We have to show more love. We can’t have a holier than thou type of attitude. We can’t allow people to feel like coming to their fellow brother and sisters in Christ, is the last person they want to confide in. We can’t offer correction through shaming and making them feel guilty. There needs to be a better sense of support. Just because right now, I am in the spotlight, doesn’t mean that because you sit in the pews you have more right to get away with something. We all have to be accountable to the things we do. We all have the same standard to uphold. Truly no sin is greater than the other. We need to make sure that our judgements and corrections aren’t based off of how we feel, but come from a place of love that disciplines through God and His word.
So those are just some of my thoughts. I am a fan of LeAndria, and will continue to support her and I believe that she will be fine. I just don’t want to see this repeated in her life or in the the lives of anyone else! I want everyone to step back and see how this affects your walk with Christ. Does this shed light on a certain area that you need to come up in? Do you see where you need to be more obedient and faithful to Christ?