wpe21.jpg (16613 bytes)

June 24, 2013

Oprah Winfrey’s Interview with Tyler Perry

What is Success?

On Sunday May 26, 2013 after coming from the church service, I listened to Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Tyler Perry, a very talented entertainer. Tyler seems to be trying to bridge the gap between the church and the secular world. Perhaps that is why he is so successful. Most Christian artists some times come out of the church and get lost in the secular world. Many of them never returned to the church. Sadly, some of them are chew into pieces by the evils of the secular world. Tyler Perry’s style is very unique and welcomed in the church because he is making a powerful impact, especially within the black community.

After the one hour interview, what I learned from Tyler Perry is that neither money, fame, nor power defines success. Those things create the illusion of success. Success is defined by knowing your direction in life as defined by God your maker, and learning to follow the direction he placed before you. Your destiny is life is revealed through the adversities of your life. Nobody ever define success without experiencing many failures. Every set back is not only a setup for a come back, every challenge we face in life is a step closer to our destiny. There are many rich people who live in soul poverty because they do not know God. There are many famous people suffering from depression without the infusion of the Holy Spirit. Many powerful people have crashed and burn at the pinnacle of their success. Your success in life is defined by how well you live the destiny God place before you.

People make mistakes in life when they want to live their lives just like somebody else. Many people have struggled and never make it because they just want to be like John Doe down the street. They do not realizing what John Doe went through to get to where he could sing halleluiah. People sometimes get angry because you are not dancing with them. They do not realize that you are both listening to different music and you cannot dance the same way.

From my personal perspective, one of the mistakes made by some preachers is to believe that a person can find his or her destiny by instinct. People need to understand from basic science that instinct is a biological urge that defy common sense at times. Such behavior may response to human autonomic system. This is no different from animal urges to eat, have sex, drink, or run away at the approach of danger. Many of these are animalistic instincts. We humans share some of that with the animal kingdom. Human destiny is not defined by listening to instinct, quite the contrary. By human nature, we acquire some behavior patterns from when we are young. After we have been engaging in such behavior for a long time it appears as if such a behavior is instinctive when in reality that is a learned behavior. That’s why such behavior is referred as "becoming a second nature." A very good example is the gender roles male and female play, usually defined by the society people live in. For example, females in the U.S. speak slowly dragging their words with a child like voice and salacious body language to become seductive. In essence older women are trying to play the role of little girls to achieve seduction. Consequently, when an older woman wants to be sexy in the U.S. culture, she will not only speak slowly dragging her words, she also presents a skinny and a hairless body to a man so she can be considered sexy. In other cultures outside the U.S. such a childlike behavior to achieve seduction can be considered offensive to some men. Grown up women do not talk like little girls to be sexy. In bed, wives present themselves to their husbands as grown up women not as little girls. They talk like grown up women and their husbands better receive them as grown up women!

This problem started with the unintended consequences of women’s liberation movement of the 1970. I say, unintended because those women did not have an idea what role diffusion would cause today. Even in college, women’s studies were encouraging social role diffusion to give women more opportunities in the work place. Such an idea was well received by most of the men who did not even support the women’s movement. One of the unintended consequences is the stress the working women have to deal with, including managing the family in case of a single mother. Many of these women are crumbling under the burden weight of balancing work and family. However, the role diffusion has led to role and gender confusion for our young boys developing effeminate behavior as the new norm. Without a man at home to show the little boy how to be a man, he models after his mother’s effeminate behavior and society quickly associate a sexual preference to such accidental behavior pattern.

The point being, learned behaviors are easily confused with instinctive behaviors because the learning process takes place during the adolescent development. Looking at your instinct to define your life’s direction and success may be a very tragic mistake. A man does not define his own destiny. God is the master of a man’s destiny, not instinct. I over heard a well-known preacher on the television preaching that a man’s destiny is tied to his instinctive behavior. This is completely false! He sounded like he had been spending too much time with his New Age friends! It also appears as though the preacher is confusing the will of God through the Holy Spirit as instinctive behavior. Only the Holy Spirit gives us the Spirit of discerning. Such talent is never acquired through human instinct. The Spirit to discern comes as a gift from the Holy Spirit. It is not an animalistic urge, but a divine gift from God.

Very importantly as Christians, we should understand that our success in life is not tied to materialism. Unfortunately, many churches are preaching the message of come to Jesus to obtain your share of the pie because God wants to bless you. By so doing, we define success by fame, power and material wealth, neither of which is able to grant us the peace we search for, except through the Holy Spirit. In the Bible, both Jesus and John the Baptist lived a very successful life, although they were very poor and died a horrible death. But in the end, they both entered into their glory because they fulfilled the purpose of their journey to this world. King Solomon was one of the richest kings in the world. He had everything any person on earth might wish for in material prosperity and pleasure. In the end, he suffered from a painful depression because the excessive pleasure of the flesh led him away from the Spirit of God. Your success in life is defined by fulfilling the mission God placed before you to serve his purpose. Everybody through the Holy Spirit has a unique music playing in his or her soul. You may not be as successful as either Oprah Winfrey or Bill Gates. Living a Christ centered and contented life in serving God’s purpose will grant you the greatest joy and peace in God through Jesus. If you cannot find that inner peace in Christ through the Holy Spirit, nothing in the world will grant you that supernatural peace, called success.

In all, the interview with Tyler Perry by Oprah was very interesting. The draw back was when Oprah said, she was conducting the interview because of Tyler Perry was coming to OWN with his show, the "Have and the Have Nots." The best of the interview was whenTyler Perry quoted President Obama in their conversation. According to Tyler Perry, he was in the motorcade with President Obama when they were both having a conversation. Tyler Perry said to President Obama, "What a great country for you to be the President of the U.S." President Obama responded, "What a great country for you to be Tyler Perry."

Written by Yinka Vidal, author, Finding Peace in the Storms – A Wife Inspirational Journey with Breast Cancer. It’s an Ebook on Amazon Books.