Oprah Doesn't Want to Hear About God ... Or So I Thought
I had no clue I'd be writing about Oprah this week. And honestly, this article isn't about anything Oprah said or did. It's about what I said about her in a conversation with my father-in-law.
Earlier this year, I dropped my daughter off to stay at her grandparents' house for a few hours. They had just discovered that I wrote my first book and my father-n-law said, "You should get your book in front of Oprah."
Now, I don't have the slightest clue of how to get my book in front of Oprah. He said it as if I can just mail it to her address or something. But even if I knew exactly how to get it into her hands, I would have never considered sending it to her because I figured she would have zero interest in it. I laughed at my father-in-law and said,
"Oprah don't want to hear about God." He looked at me with a straight face—no humor in his eyes and not even the slightest smile anywhere on his lips—and said, "You don't know what she may want to hear."
I took in what he said for a second. I agreed with him but went on about my day. A few months later, my husband taught a powerful lesson on Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus was a tax-collector, a chief amongst the publicans. In biblical times, a chief publican was also considered a chief sinner.
In fact, Matthew 9:10 states Jesus sat with publicans and sinners. So, publicans weren't even viewed as traditional sinners. They were viewed as terrible enough to have their very own category of unworthiness. Yet, Zacchaeus climbed a tree to see Jesus.
He was too short to see Christ from the road, so he climbed a tree. Jesus saw him and told him to get down. Christ told him He must dwell in his house that very same day. And as the scripture tells us, Zacchaeus and his entire household received salvation that day.
Now, I am sure no one expected that Zacchaeus would have climbed a tree to see Jesus. He was a rich. We know many wealthy people don't seek God because they trust in their riches. Yet, he climbed the tree.
He was viewed as a despicable man. Zacchaeus was a man of Jewish lineage, but he worked as a Roman tax-collector taking money from his own people. He was a traitor. Yet, he climbed the tree.
His climbing the tree displayed just how desperately he wanted to see Jesus. My husband explained that in their culture, it was shameful for anyone to see a man's legs. It was down-right disgraceful. Yet, he climbed the tree.
We all had a candid conversation during that Bible study. We agreed that we have the tendency to judge who we think will or will not accept Christ or who does or does not want to hear about God. But who are we to choose? Who are we to say what's in someone else's heart or mind?
God has always, always, visited the most unlikely of people. People who we think don't want anything to do with Christ. People like Zacchaeus. People like the woman at the well with five husbands. People like Saul. And people like Oprah... or so I judged.
I learned from that conversation with my father-in-law and that Bible study lesson from my husband that I can be judgmental. I can 100% own that. And I also 100% repent for it and ask God to open my thoughts to align with His.
It wasn't that I thought Oprah was a horrid sinner or that she was an atheist. I just didn't think she would be interested in a book that points to Christ as the source of sustainable success. But even if I did believe she was a horrid sinner or even if she was an atheist, it is still not, and will never be, my job to judge whether someone wants to hear about God or not.
Because the thing is this. Usually, the very same people we think don't want anything to do with Christ, end up being the most dedicated to Him. In Luke 7, Christ visited a Pharisee's home. A woman who knew Jesus would be there came with a jar of oil.
She sat at Jesus's feet and cried on them. She then proceeded to wipe her tears from His feet with her hair and to anoint His feet with the oil. The Pharisee was displeased. She was a sinner. A big sinner. The kind of sinner who Jesus shouldn't let touch Him.
But Jesus knew exactly who she was. He knew her sins were great. And He also knew that because her sins were great, forgiving her sins would be even greater. Christ went on to give a parable.
“Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.
(Luke 7: 41-43 NIV)
It's not up to us look at someone's sins or way of life and determine if that person wants to hear about Christ or not. Our job is to be beacons in this dark world. Our job is to be the salt of the earth. Our job is to spread the love and Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Additionally, what if that person did want to hear about Christ but wasn't given the opportunity because you judged them incorrectly? We never know if someone is secretly seeking God. Therefore, we shouldn't deprive anyone of Him.
And if you tell others about Christ and they reject Him, so be it. Maybe they'll never believe in Him... or maybe you just planted a seed that will bloom later. Remember, we may plant, we may water, but God gives the increase (1 Corinthians 3:6).
So, I will plant a little over here and a little over there. I pray my work reaches the eyes of believers and non-believers alike. And if you have had moments like me, moments where you judge whether someone else wants to hear about God or not, change your disposition. Ask God to transform your mind so that you can see His people the way He wants us to see them... and that's with love and a non-judgmental heart.
I apologize to anyone who clicked on this article expecting me to bash Oprah. But that's just not my style. And if you wanted me to bash her, pray for her, and then pray for yourself. We all need prayer, and we all need God.
That's all for this week guys. 'Til next time, have a wonderful day and week. Take care.
Quin Arrington's debut book "And Then You Shall Have Good Success: Attaining Good Success God's Way" is available on Amazon in paperback and eBook format. Link to book listed below.