You never know how much your passions and missions in life keep you alive, until they’re crushed and taken away from you.

 

I’ve been a dedicated Christian since I was diagnosed poz in 2002. Once I got on some antidepressants and got my mental state right, I became fervent about serving God. I worshiped in private, I studied the Bible, I used my lyrical abilities and writing to make songs and devotionals, and I was attempting to minister to others with the intent of eventually becoming an evangelist. Making an impact on the world through my faith was my driving passion.

 

I had prayed for confirmations from the Lord regarding my gifts and callings in life, and He put people around me who seemed ordained to confirm and support the callings I had. But after a few years of believing what I was doing was God-ordained, the people I thought supported that calling all turned out to be quite shoddy. A record label I’d been hooked up with turned out to be more about revenue than they were about staying true to Christian music and ministry. They eventually asked me to compromise the message in my music. An evangelist I’d been learning from began making extremely controversial statements, false "prophecies" about various things, became very beligerent, and proved to be more interested in advancing his own opinions than he was advancing the biblical message. Some family members who had been Christian role models suddenly turned away to false doctrines and mystic, new age beliefs–even questioning the bible\’s accuracy. And lastly, a girl I thought God had sent me as a potential mate, became uninterested after she learned of my poz status.

 

In the aftermath of all this, I began to seriously question myself. Was I really meant to be a minister through rap music? Did I really have a higher purpose? Afterall, all the people that had been put in my life as seeming confirmations, turned out to be false. As my confidence in myself and God crumbled, I realized I could never be an effective evangelist, because I wasn\’t even certain if God was going to help me in my own life. How could I convince others? How was I supposed to get on stage and rap, when I couldn\’t even bring myself to go into my job and sell cars effectively? Had I been living in a dream world all this time? Were all my goals and dreams completely unrealistic, and was I now finally seeing reality?

 

For years after this, my religion became a thing of minimal commitment, instead of a driving passion. Depression plagued me no matter how many times the doctor increased my medications. I sincerely wondered if I was going to now live a meaningless, fruitless life, and never make any contribution to the Kingdom of my God. And if this was the case, would he even accept me into His Kingdom? Things that never bothered me before now crushed me with anxiety. Where was my money and food going to come from? How long would my health remain in tact? What would happen if my family’s car dealership collapsed? How on earth would I survive?

 

I seemed destined to live a life of futility, emotional instability, lack of self-control and faith, and die an early death, much like my alcoholic cousin had. This was the worst sentence you could’ve pronounced on me.

 

In hindsight, I realize what caused the collapse. My passion had been snatched away. The thing that had driven me (making an impact for God through my rapping and writing) was no longer viable, in my eyes.

 

I write this on no other blog except the Tribe blog, because as a person with HIV status, I realize how important having a driving passion is for keeping an ill person going. Since my passion was taken away, my mental status has suffered, my anxiety has increased, my diabetes has become uncontrolled, and my immune system has become weakened. In a sense, I had lost everything I was living for. (As a sidenote, you\’d be shocked at the level of sin you’ll entertain in your life when you have nothing to occupy your time.)

 

So I say, guard your passion! Whether it\’s activism, healthcare work, AIDS awareness, blogging, charity, ministry (though God would have you dedicating your life to making a mark for HIS Kingdom), don’t let anything stop you from or compromise the work you’ve dedicated your life to. And I say especially to Christian ministers: don’t allow yourself to be taken in sin. If you are publically shamed, and have to step down from ministry, what will keep you going from that point on?

 

Jesus said "it is better to give than it is to receive." I believe that is patently obvious in life. If you look at some of the biggest, most pampered celebrities, who\’ve lived lives of self-indulgence to the max, you will also find that many of them have sunk to the deepest levels of depravity and mental unrest. If you give your life selflessly to something bigger than yourself, you are at an advantage, and I believe your health will reap the benefits.

 

So please, at all costs, guard your passion!

 

-Matt

4 Comments
  1. Romeo 13 years ago

    Wow! Regardless of yours, or anyone else’s belief in the hereafter – you can’t live your life seeking the approval of others – whether friends or God’s. Your dream of ministering through Rap has been questioned after the people around you and "life" did not live up to your ideals. The record label is a business that is in it to make money. "False" prophecy from an evangelist?? The Bible, the Torah and the Kura’n are all open to "interpretation" of what has ben written in them; and the female that left because you are poz was not meant to be with you. Find the dream you once had in your life – find the downbeat for the Rap song of your life. When you start living again for yourself and not for everyone else’s apporoval. Things happen and fall into place. You can call it God if you want to – but it happens either way! Good Luck!

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  2. mattmic 13 years ago

    Well…I respect your input. But living for God’s approval…I don’t see what could possibly be better than that.

    The record label was not in it for money in the beginning. In fact, when we started, the first question they asked ME was do I want money or do I want ministry. Then they changed their position based on there not being a "genre" for Christian rap.

     

    You’d have to know the circumstances of it all. I understand now that all these things were meant to happen, to strengthen me. But I used to have a view that God was going to magically open every door for me…when all these things collapsed, it deeply affected me.

     

    When I had nothing driving me, no passion…it caused me to change, to doubt, and to even do things I would’ve never done before. My health suffered, too. The point is, protect your passions…they keep you going and even keep you healthy.

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  3. mattmic 13 years ago

    🙂 Thank you all for the insight. I should’ve been a bit more articulate in the blog. Seeing your comments, and re-reading what I wrote, I see it comes across that I was venting and feeling sorry for myself. Setting my mood to "angry" probably didn’t help matters. I actually wasn’t sad or feeling sorry for myself when writing. I wrote the blog for others’ benefit, especially the poz community.

    I have gained back my passion at this time. The only anger I feel is anger at the deceiver, Satan, and myself, for allowing him to run such an easy game on me in the first place.

    The reason I said my passion was snatched, is because I do believe in Satan, and that he distorts and deceives. He did some work on me, but I was just as responsible for the deception, as I wasn’t fighting the lies and reinforcing truth by memorizing scripture and quoting it to myself.

    And yes, what happened was meant to happen…to get me to "come out of the gas". I did have "rose colored glasses" as someone wrote, and they came off. I’m much wiser now as a result.

    The thing I want everyone to take away from the blog, is to trust God and guard the calling you have (if you’re a Christian), or just guard your passion in general. Don’t become disillusioned.

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  4. mattmic 13 years ago

    XK…

    for your friends that are spiritual but avoid church, I sympathize. I am still shoddy in my church attendance and trying to find the right fit….

    but I believe we need church because for one, God saw fit in the bible to describe the positions of bishop, elder, deacon, etc…if God saw fit to put people in leadership in the church, that means we need to be part of that chain of command, or else the leaders are there for no reason…we need people to confirm our gifts and callings, to consult with and help us in our personal missions…to set goals and visions for their local fellowships that WE can then use to direct our goals and passions

    your friends should get the book "Church: Why Bother?" by Philip Yancey. Yancey went to a racist, southern fundamentalist, legalistic church in his youth. After breaking from it, he wondered why he ever should join a church. But he returned to the fold and found that church was no longer a chore, but a joy. It’s just a matter of knowing what to look for in a church.

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