Hood Spirituality: We’re All "That Triflin’ Guy"
So this year has been a major time of self-reflection, self- acceptance, and self-improvement for me. I found myself tired of being angry and letting anger control me about certain things and feeling stagnant in certain areas of life and through a recommendation of journaling, I was feeling unstoppable.
Now that I was feeling good about my growth by way of my ability to be honest with myself and accept things about myself, I’d started to take the time to refocus my goals. I no longer wanted to just do what I wanted to do or the things that other people thought that I should do, I wanted to align my passions with my PURPOSE that God placed me on this Earth for. It sounds simple enough to be like “ I like to do this and that, so I’ll just do this that way and if I’m doing it, that’s my purpose,” however, if we don’t seek God to guide us, we will end up somewhere, but are we going to end up somewhere ON PURPOSE? (Shoutout to my Pastor for that GEM). That being said, I started to really seek guidance and question what my purpose is and how God wanted me to go about fulfilling it.
One evening, I went to a conference at Victory Christian Center and it was the night Bishop T.D. Jakes was preaching and MANNNN, did he PREACH. Like seriously y’all... I cried the entire time, not the ugly cry though, but it felt as though he was speaking directly to me. Almost as if Jesus sat him down and told him, “tell Angela these are the answers to everything she’s been questioning.” Don’t you love those moments?
So fast forward to later that night, I was texting my homegirl about the sermon and sent her the notes that I took, and we started talking about how God has been good to us and his level of forgiveness is UNMATCHED honey. So I told her, we are the triflin’ significant other that gets taken back after every transgression and I felt like this was an idea that needed to be expounded upon; so I’m going to break down or “unpack” as some like to say, this Hood Spirituality Theory of mine in three parts.
The first part is a tough horsepill of ‘Honesty with Self’ to swallow, which is...
1. We Ain’t Ish
Now I know when it comes speaking about God and Christ, cursing shouldn’t be anywhere in the conversation...so that’s exactly why I said ISH...y’all get my drift though. No matter how high and mighty we think we are and no matter how many good deeds we’ve done to think we’ve earned the ‘Holier Than Thou Membership Pass,’ this statement and fact remains the same.
We’ve heard this expression (so and so ain’t ish) time and time again (I know personally I’ve seen this on Twitter when talking about men and I’m over it, but that’s a whole other conversation that I will save for a later day) and we all know what it means and where the statement is headed. Now, whether you’ve been the girl that takes the triflin’ man back over and over after being cheated on, disrespected, abused (physically, verbally, or mentally), etc. or that was one of your homegirls, we’ve all met, known, or been one of those women.
If you really sit back and think about it, we are ALL that triflin’ guy that keeps getting taken back by the girl folks are now calling stupid because she loves her man. Like how many times can one mess up, sometimes immediately after we take them back, before enough is enough right?
But bruh...God has been doing that same thing for years, thousands of years, since the beginning of time, and I am both EXHAUSTED and GRATEFUL thinking about it. His Mercy delivers us from the judgement and punishment we should really endure for our sins (BAY-BEE can you imagine us receiving the punishment we should based on our sins? A lot of would be DEAD right now) and his Grace extends His loving kindness and even blessings when we CLEARLY don’t be deserving them chile, which leads me to number 2...
2. His Grace and Mercy is MORE THAN SUFFICIENT
LET ME SAY THIS AGAIN...God’s Grace and Mercy is beyond sufficient; and we don’t have the range, PERIOD.
Folks will make one mistake and we will cut them off, as I know I can say I have yet to get the concept of forgiveness down pact because sometimes it will take the smallest things and you’re outta there (God is STILL working on me). But can you imagine how God feels?
Prime example, every Wednesday at youth church, my best friend and I used to RUN up to the altar during altar call and ask for forgiveness, like literally every single week. Now, as human beings if someone KEPT messing up and running in our face for forgiveness we’d be like are you kidding? NO. No more!
At some point our willingness to forgive runs out and we are done with something or someone, although we are instructed to forgive others so that God will forgive us (Luke 17:3-4, Matthew 6:14-15) but not God. Now let’s not get this twisted, we’re never going to be perfect, we’re never going to not sin but we don’t need to let sin be our MASTER (Roman 6:14), because if we are truly His, we’re not going to keep sinning over and over (1 John 3:6), not repenting about it, and going through life like we’re not going to end up SHOOK in the end. There’s a difference between REPENTING and saying “Oh, my bad God, thank you for Mercy,” just like there’s a difference between apologizing and simply saying sorry.
God loves us SO much and I am a WITNESS of this, he’s brought me through so much and been by my side through all of my trials and tribulations and I know he has never forsaken me. Trust me I am not perfect, I am not claiming to be, but the very LEAST I can do is get and maintain some ACT RIGHT. We have to treat him like we KNOW and believe he has that AGAPE love for us and reciprocate that.
Which leads me to the third and final part of unpacking this Hood Spirituality Theory….
3. We Gotta Do Better
We can’t, “God knows my heart,” folks to death okay, that’s played and it’s TRIFLIN’ which is my point to begin with. That statement is a slap in the face to God and his Mercy on the HIGHEST of keys, but ya know the statement is also TRUE, but not to work in your favor of just doing what you want to do. God does know our hearts, just like the word of the Lord fell upon Jeremiah (“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I set you apart and appointed you a prophet to the nations”- Jeremiah 1:5), he knew you before you were born (Psalms 139:16), AND he knows our intentions and what is in our hearts (Proverbs 16:2, 21:2); so he can not be deceived and if you think you have the gift of discernment, he INVENTED and BLESSED you with it.
So BLOOPITY, BLOOP, BLOOP!
With the mentality of WILLFULLY and BLATANTLY sinning and being like “Oh well God knows my heart,” you will never grow, especially not grow in your relationship with Christ. If you keep giving YOURSELF a pass to keep doing the same behavior and not learning from it, asking for forgiveness, and striving to be a better follower of Christ that’s INSANE and you’re pushing it, fam.
I know personally I’m not trying to keep pushing it just to have fun here on Earth and then be looking dry-mouthed when it’s all said and done. I don’t want y’all to look dry-mouthed either because I care and God cares more than I do, so yeah...we gotta do better.
This is all easier said than done sometimes because as people we like to feed our flesh and maintain total control over our own lives and it can be hard to let someone have total control that we have yet to see. However if you really think about it, you can see Him in everything (that beautiful sunset and sunrise everyday), situations ( that time you survived that car accident and you don’t know how), or in people ( we were made in His likeness). I believe, have experienced, and STILL AM experiencing the notion that if we ultimately make the decision to let him take control and strive to not be the triflin’ significant other that takes advantage of His mercy, life and life thereafter can and will be something that you can’t even imagine.
But just as it is written, “Things that no eye has seen, or ear heard, or mind imagined, are the things God has prepared for those who love him.” - 1 Cor. 2:9