I don’t have a problem with all of feminists’ work, because women need to be treated humanely. I don’t have a problem with the Afrocentrists’ fight, because race should be recognized not idealized. And I don’t have a problem with making money and reaching social status, because money and connections can help to establish God’s kingdom on earth. The problem I have is not with various causes that women who identify as strong black women engage in; I just have a problem when these causes seem to be more about humanity than divinity, more about what we can do and not what He can do, about the need to please man and not please God, to bring ourselves glory and not glory to Jesus Christ. This is what drives this blog and has been the basis for a book of the same subject matter that I have been tweaking for almost 10 years.
It’s taken about 10 years because when I started I was a young strong black woman who got a taste of recovery and wanted to wag her finger at everyone who hadn’t yet sought to be healed. Older now—and understanding that I have not arrived (thus still being in recovery), I am wiser now and know the road is slow and steady and takes a chisel to reshape the self-defined strong black woman. I heard a preacher yesterday challenge Christians to not “be a spiritual good for nothing.” He derived this phrase from what “bad” means in 2 Corinthians 5:10: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things [done] in [his] body, according to that he hath done, whether [it be] good or bad.” This bad is not evil deeds for the Christian because our sin was judged when Jesus died on the cross for our sins. This bad for us is worthless acts, doing things humans deem good, but they have no spiritual value. In other words, you’re involved in causes that don’t bring God glory but bring man glory. You are being a spiritual good for nothing.
Before getting involved with anything, we must always ask ourselves, “What are my motives behind this mission?” Answering this question should help us steer away from our desires to please man and only seek to please God. For the first six months of this blog, I have cited several areas where I have gone wrong seeking to be the world’s standard of a strong black woman. These insights gave little if any solutions. For the next six months or so, I will attempt to reexamine these issues and give way to solutions. In the next two blogs or so I intend to give you direction for this new framework that I’m calling “The Strong Black Woman: Re-imagined and Reengineered.”
Copyright 2009 by Rhonda J. Smith