This year, I cut back and started watching after the top 36 were chosen. Many of my irritations with show lie with the critique styles of the judges. And it is not just Simon, I often agree with Simon's opinions...just not with how he chooses to express them. I do wish he would learn that honesty need not be laced with cruelty to garner effective results. But while calling someone a disaster is unkind and hurtful, it is the conflicting messages from the judges that I find most disturbing.
One of the most repeated phrases of feedback is the ever popular, “I'm just not sure who you are...you need to come out and be you.”
First of all, many of the contestants are still teenagers, and others are young adults. Additionally, most of them have not had special training in the music business, that was part of the genius behind the original concept for American Idol. I think it is unrealistic to expect a 17-year-old, or even a 23-tear-old to know exactly who they want to be as a performer.
And then to confuse matters even more, they will add statements like these:
“I'm not sure I like this sweet vibe you have going on...you need to dirty yourself up.”
“You have a great voice, but that dress...it's too old-fashioned and conservative.”
“The problem I have with you is that you are somewhat reserved, you need to bring out your inner party animal...or vixen”
“You are cute and charming...I actually kind of like you...but you are missing something...I think you lack sex appeal.”
Basically, the judges and producers want contestants to hold the answer to the oldest existential question in the universe (who am I?), unless the answer involves choices that do not conform to current trends. Talk about an identity crisis.
I have had a few identity issues of my own. And although I know more about myself today than I did ten years ago, sometimes I still need reminding of who I really am and to Whom I belong...because I live in a world where messages are watered down, mixed, spun, chopped, sautéed and then seasoned to sell. Far too often I buy into the lies that tell me I am too fat, too homely, too ordinary, too conservative, too sensitive, too dull, too gentle, too loud, too quiet, too social, and too outdated. Now, I agree that too much of something...even of good things, does not always reap what is good....but I need to run my issues through God's filter and not through that of the world. The world does not have a clue as to who I am or who I should become...the world just wants to tell me what actions I should acquire to properly fit into the times.
As I become....I need to submit my will to God's, and seek His guidance and direction. And not only is it vital that as Christians we know who we are in Christ so that we can grow closer to Him, but also so we know what is expected of us...how we are to behave as His representatives. Here are a few scripture versus that tell me more about who I am...and who you are too. (This list is partial and all references are from the NLT...a resource I used to compile the information below comes from here, but I did some of my own editing as well.)
- I am a child of God...I am adopted. The term adoption is extra special to me because when I was seven years old, my step-father legally adopted me...I became his daughter. I am also...and foremost a daughter of the Most High. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. John 1:12 & And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. & But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. Romans 8:17
- I am a part of the Church, the body of Christ. This means I have responsibilities to be like Christ and cannot do this without Him. “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:1-5
- I am forgiven. So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. Romans 8:1-2 & He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. Ephesians 1:7.
- I am accepted. Oh this is a big one for me. But not only am I accepted, I am called to accept others as Christ accepted me. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory. Remember that Christ came as a servant to the Jews to show that God is true to the promises he made to their ancestors. Romans 15:6-8
- I am a masterpiece and my existence was planned. I need to type that again...my existence was planned. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10.
There is so much more...but I'm going to end with that one.
What about you? Feel free to share a favorite verse that reminds you of your true identity.