I was recently watching an episode of the Cosby Show. Denise, the second eldest daughter played by actress Lisa Bonet, was going off to college. The parents played by Phylicia Rashad and Bill Cosby, did not know that Denise would quit school after freshman year. She went into college thinking that college professors and instructors were just like some high school teachers- they gave passing grades to students just for their effort with the assignment even if the effort was misguided. When offered guidance by professors and her parents on how to correct her thought patterns in order to be successful in college, Denise disregarded the advice. She discovered that she was not as interested in college as she once thought.
I am quite sure that Dr. and Mrs. Heathcliff Huxtable (the characters Rashad and Cosby play) told Denise what to expect from college academically and socially. Some people sometimes have to experience a situation before they really understand the criteria for success.
Denise’s character dropped out of college, moved home, begged her parents to provide plane tickets for a mission trip to Africa, met her husband in Africa and moved back into her parents house with her new husband and his two-year old daughter. Fans around the world viewed Denise’s character as flaky and unfocused. She seemed unable to make a good initial career decision and work hard at climbing the career ladder. The viewers wanted more for Denise. It didn’t matter that she did at least one thing right-find a good man that was in love with her.
I too had an experience where I did some things right and other things appeared flaky. I have a master’s degree. I finished all of my coursework for the doctorate program except the dissertation. I moved back home after failing to get financial help for school through employment or otherwise. My sister, Dad’s sister, Dad, Mother and friend Xavier were the only people to congratulate me on a job well done thus far. Everyone else close to me either didn’t say anything to me about being home again or even looked for an opportunity to put me down. One of my family members even said that I must have lived in the ghetto areas of Malibu, California (where my doctoral college is located). No congrats or anything. Just negative jealousy. It sucks having to deal with negative people in my personal space.
Luke 12:6 says,
“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God”.
Sometimes when people are angry that your life does not meet the cookie cutter social norms or they did not like something about you before your life went haywire they will say and do the wrong things toward you. They don’t know how to act. The weakling gives into peer pressure and responds like everyone else-thinking that being cookie cutter without deep thought is the way to go.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying to ignore sound advice when everyone is repeating the same advice. I’m saying to ignore the criticism of people who have never generally had a nice word to say to you. It’s a waste of time. Don’t let these kind of people get in your head.
Luke twelve verse six reminds me that if God remembers each bird He remembers you. He cares for you. He does not think you are worthless. God is strong. When you are trying to get to the apex of security in your life find advice find fulfillment and security in the steadfastness of something stronger and greater. The advice of someone wiser. The advice of God and the people He gives wisdom to.