Alexey Dolotov (stage name "Doloto") is a hip-hop artist from the San Francisco Bay area who is releasing a new album, "Positive Convictions", this summer. He recently sent me one of the pieces for the upcoming album called, "Plastic Fruit." This track is based on chapter 15 from my book, Note to Self. That chapter is a call to stop pretending around our brothers and sisters in Christ, and to start being honest about where we are at and how we are doing spiritually. The danger with pretending is that we deny others the opportunity to minister to us because they don't know what we need. And as we pretend that we are "good" we have nothing to share with them, to help them, since what we present is not real fruit, but plastic. It's fake and nourishes no one.
Know this—it is the gospel that allows you to be real. It admits us all as sinners and establishes us all as saints. Your local church is the only place where this reality, and not pretending, can be the culture of gathered community. Be real. Admit where you are and what you are. This will allow others to minister to you, and you to minister to others.
Alexey has taken this chapter and produced something amazing. Check it out below. And you can download it here.
Hey how you doing? Hmm, I know what it's like
during that split second where I have to decide
to be honest or lie, put on a good face smiling
when in reality things inside are a mess.
I wanna appear strong when I am power,LESS
and I stress 'cause this bogus persona facades my pride
endorsing my sin to continue within me
ultimately ripping me off from the truth in my life.
I who am known as a "believer," yet now as a phony deceiver,
self-righteous achiever, or more like failure,
because I'm NOT mutually encouraged by your faith,
nor you by mine at times that I fake it.
Please don't mistake it, what I try to do is break this
false belief that without each other I'm able to make it
'cause I can't, yet instead I try to pretend,
loosing the Gospel's influence within, you know what I mean?
By lacking transparency with no honesty left in the
conversations I have I rob myself inwardly
by denying you a chance to speak truth in my life
and encourage me when I need it MOST DEFINITELY.
I might be anxious, but act like everything is cool,
put on a good face, with hopes I'm not bothered by you,
make sure that no one knows what I am going through,
but I forget that I need someone to tell me God's truth.
I need to hear that God is sovereign and has a good plan
for the lives of those who love Him, I need to listen
something that's rooted in the Gospel, examples given;
that I need to see the faith of others so that I can
persevere through times of anxiety and fear
or I could just pretend seemingly protect myself from those who are near
who look at my stare, are fully aware, of my despair,
offering care, willing to share my burden and take it upon them
and give me support with their prayer,
yet I deny it and remain reluctant, as if I lost my sense of Christ-like zeal for each other,
by not being real wind up sabotaging my own spiritual life and no other.
But, not only that I loose the gospel influence within,
the outward influence also gets diminished by my sin,
because I can't offer you anything that's real
besides the fakeness that is in me finding its appeal.
Yet the BEST resource for speaking into other's lives
is sharing what God is doing in me, the fruit He's bringing up inside,
but too bad the fruit I let ya'll see is often plastic
looks good from a distance, but nourishing no one, ohh that's tragic.
Yet I know that the gospel allows me to be real
admitting me as a sinner who through Christ become ideal
establishing me a saint, then in the local church I'm placed
so I can get a taste of a community without any fakes
ohh 'cause that's the ONE place where my true face could be shown
knowing that God's sufficient grace will cover all my wrongs.
I just need to admit where I'm at and what I am and stop pretending,
serve others in the body of the church until we reach the ending.
Now I know, many hear this beat and are like Naaaawwwhh!
Well, sorry for being my real self with no facade,
didn't wanna preach to the choir but this applies to both you and I
so by the grace of God may we live honest and transparent lives.
- Note to self...