The Diva Syndrome Among Gospel Singers: State Of The Art or Heart?

State Of The Art Or Heart. (Pic Source: Google Images)

State Of The Art Or Heart. (Pic Source: Google Images)

We put Conrad Mbajo to the task of addressing this topic, “The Diva Syndrome.” We knew, given his depth in analysing issues and seeking to correct things that we have known is going wrong among music ministers, that he would do it justice. This call resonated with his heartbeat and within hours he delivered what you are about to read. Let those (especially music ministers) who have ears listen to God while reading this piece below. 

Like any other form of ministry or gifting, gospel music is often prone to corruption of varying types including pride, materialism, idolatry, diluted message and heresy, and so on. But pride is very broad, and one variable thereof is the “Diva Syndrome”; a millennia old corruption since the fall of Lucifer, that makes the minister desire to draw attention to themself rather than Christ. It is a form of selfcentredness.

Fact: most, if not all of the mainstream secular music is about one thing: promoting self; your nice body, nice car, hot looks, possessions and obsessions, and so on. In secularism people perform to impress others, while in ministry, ministers do minister to impart spiritual substance to people.
Quite plainly: they that are of the world “perform to impress” but we the saints “minister to impart & impact.”

It is therefore a form of borrowed secularism when the saints adopt worldly aspects of expression of art and proceed to do the music in a way that promotes self.

Manifestations of the Diva syndrome.

The Diva syndrome is closely akin to–if not rooted in– the Jezebel spirit, which, among many other traits, seeks to draw all attention to self so as to exercise total control. The Key words  here are “control” through drawing “attention.”
It is no wonder, because of the Jezebel spirit being promoted through Hollywood movies and secular music, that younger females increasingly feel the need to flaunt their bodies on social media so as to draw male attention. The underlying issue is a hidden desire to exercise some form of control in drawing that attention; the more “likes” and comments from men ogling over their attractive body, booty, and cleavage, the more they gain that sense of satisfaction deep within, a sense of achieved control and power! This is a corrupted sense of fulfilment. A trait of fallen man. An unhealthy desire for attention. Good news is, God has as much grace available to set us free from this corrupted sense of fulfilment.

But first, how does this form of corruption erode the gospel artistes? We will focus on the female artiste here.

*The artiste believes her looks and physical appearance play an almost more vital role than anything else–even more than the gifting itself–in creating the desired impact. And so she pays exorbitant attention to the makeup and dress code and type of shoe, much more than the vocal drills. She makes sure her body curves are highlighted; she’s got to appear “sexy.”

Now, in how many ways do we idolise physical appearance? One, when we feel more assured of great impact because of our exceptional physical endowment, and two, when feel less likely to have impact because of our very ordinary physical appearance. So whether low, or high self-esteem, if based mainly on the parameter of physical appearance, it is all idolatry and self centeredness in the place of Christ centeredness. The gift, and the Giver of the gift, are more important than your physical appearance. There’s all healthy patterns and lifestyle in taking care of the temples that we are–temples of the Holy Spirit. But that’s a different thing from an unhealthy, carnal focus and obsession over our physical appearance especially in relation to our ability to impact people while we minister.

Sure, you won’t come to the stage or pulpit in rags. Glorify God in your body by tending to it and dressing as elegantly as you possibly can; but don’t cross the line to a deliberate effort of appearing “sexy” or intentionally dressing in a way that OBVIOUSLY DRAWS MORE ATTENTION TO YOUR BODY AND LOOKS, MORE THAN TO THE CHRIST IN YOUR MUSIC!
In Philippians 4:5, the Bible says, “let your moderation be known to all men” Key word? Moderation.
And, in 1Cor. 14:40, “Let all things be done decently and in order.”
We cannot choose to be sheepish in grey areas; we have a natural conscience, and better now, “we have the mind of Christ” in our renewed spirits. Above all, while the Devil only CONDEMNS us about our sin, instead,  the Holy Spirit CONVICTS us of right and wrong.
When the Spirit convicts us and we choose our fleshly impulses over His voice of truth and loving conviction then we continually become hardened of heart and less sensitive to Him.
Carnal behavior leads to hardness of heart, then sinful patterns, then death. Listen: you may still minister in music but with empty sounds that have no spiritual distinctiveness at all, and thereby bringing no impact. Two results: you either repent, or continue  hardened and you craft up more carnal means to forge impact and/or stay relevant.
The call to repentance.
Apart from dress code, There’s many other forms of carnal “diva behavior”, including shameful dance strokes and gyrations, pop star body movements and vocal projections, flirtatious vocal and facial expressions, indecent body costume, and inappropriate entertainment driven visual displays in music videos and stage performances, et cetera. Don’t get me wrong: some are more physically endowed than others, and what’s decent for one may not be for another, and what raiment brings stumbling to some may not to others, so, it’s about really your relationship with God, your state of the heart, and how you cooperate with the Holy Spirit in applying the wisdom of His guidance and conviction. God is the final judge, “for the Word of God…is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart…” [Hebrews 4:12.] However, continually nurturing fleshly diva impulses and patterns will still bring visible bad fruit on the outside. So let God deal with our hearts.
And, despite the multiplicity of the carnal diva behavior, the call to repentance is one: to mortify the deeds of the flesh, to NOT be carnal minded but be spiritually minded in all humility and exercising of moderation. [Romans 8:6, 12&13; Philippians 4:5]
We may leave the admiration of the cleavage and accentuated body curves for the person entitled to it–our spouse–and bring spiritual substance to the podium; to heal the sick and broken in heart, to convict the sinner and fortify the saint.
Finally, brothers and sisters, if any of us should feel convicted in this, I invite you through Hebrews 4:14-16;
Vs. 16, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
Assurance: at the throne of God are great Mercies and forgiveness, as well as grace to help us adopt spiritually minded ministry patterns, lifestyle, and attitudes rooted in Christ centred–and not self-centered –state of heart. And God will be glorified, in Christ, and you’ll bear much fruit; some thirtyfold, others sixtyfold, and others a hundred fold.
In His Love. Amen.
Like any other form of ministry or gifting, music is often prone to corruption of varying types including pride, materialism, idolatry, diluted message and heresy, and so on. But pride is very broad, and one variable thereof is the “Diva Syndrome”; a millennia old corruption since the fall of Lucifer, that makes the minister desire to draw attention to themself rather than Christ. It is a form of self-centeredness. A general definition of a diva would be; a famous female singer of popular music. Often, they are characterized by a great ability to drive attention to themselves.

Fact: most, if not all of the mainstream secular music is about one thing: promoting self; your nice body, nice car, hot looks, possessions and obsessions, and so on. In secularism people perform to impress people, while in ministry, ministers do minister to impart spiritual substance to people.
Quite plainly: they that are of the world “perform to impress” but we the saints “minister to impart & impact.” It is therefore a form of borrowed secularism when the saints adopt worldly aspects of expression of art and proceed to do the music in a way that promotes self.

Manifestations of the Diva syndrome.
The Diva syndrome is closely akin to–if not rooted in– the Jezebel spirit, which, among many other traits, seeks to draw all attention to self so as to exercise total control. The Key words  here are “control” through drawing “attention.”
It is no wonder, because of the Jezebel spirit being promoted through Hollywood movies and secular music, that younger females increasingly feel the need to flaunt their bodies on social media so as to draw male attention. The underlying issue is a hidden desire to exercise some form of control in drawing that attention; the more “likes” and comments from men ogling over their attractive body, booty, and cleavage, the more they gain that sense of satisfaction deep within, a sense of achieved control and power! This is a corrupted sense of fulfilment. A trait of fallen man. An unhealthy desire for attention. Good news is, God has as much grace available to set us free from this corrupted sense of fulfilment.

But first, how does this form of corruption erode the gospel artistes? We will focus on the female artiste here.

*The artiste believes her looks and physical appearance play an almost more vital role than anything else–even more than the gifting or anointing itself–in creating the desired impact. And so she pays exorbitant attention to the makeup and dress code and type of shoe, much more than the vocal drills. She makes sure her body curves are highlighted; she’s got to appear “sexy.”

Now, in how many ways do we idolise physical appearance? One, when we feel more assured of great impact because of our exceptional physical endowment, and two, when feel less likely to have impact because of our very ordinary physical appearance. So whether low, or high self-esteem, if based mainly on the parameter of physical appearance, it is all idolatry and self centeredness in the place of Christ centeredness. The gift, and the Giver of the gift, are more important than your physical appearance. There’s all healthy patterns and lifestyle in taking care of the temples that we are–temples of the Holy Spirit. But that’s a different thing from an unhealthy, carnal focus and obsession over our physical appearance especially in relation to our ability to impact people while we minister.

Sure, you won’t come to the stage or pulpit in rags. Glorify God in your body by tending to it and dressing as elegantly as you possibly can; but don’t cross the line to a deliberate effort of appearing “sexy” or intentionally dressing in a way that OBVIOUSLY DRAWS MORE ATTENTION TO YOUR BODY AND LOOKS, MORE THAN TO THE CHRIST IN YOUR MUSIC!
In Philippians 4:5, the Bible says, “let your moderation be known to all men” Key word? Moderation.
And, in 1Cor. 14:40, “Let all things be done decently and in order.”
We cannot choose to be sheepish in grey areas; we have a natural conscience, and better now, “we have the mind of Christ” in our renewed spirits. Above all, while the Devil only CONDEMNS us about our sin, instead,  the Holy Spirit CONVICTS us of right and wrong.
When the Spirit convicts us and we choose our fleshly impulses over His voice of truth and loving conviction then we continually become hardened of heart and less sensitive to Him.
Carnal behavior leads to hardness of heart, then sinful patterns, then death. Listen: you may still minister in music but with empty sounds that have no spiritual distinctiveness at all, and thereby bringing no impact. Two results: you either repent, or continue  hardened and you craft up more carnal means to forge impact and/or stay relevant.
The call to repentance.
Apart from dress code, There’s many other forms of carnal “diva behavior”, including shameful dance strokes and gyrations, pop star body movements and vocal projections, flirtatious vocal and facial expressions, indecent body costume, and inappropriate entertainment driven visual displays in music videos and stage performances, et cetera. Don’t get me wrong: some are more physically endowed than others, and what’s decent for one may not be for another, and what raiment brings stumbling to some may not to others, so, it’s about really your relationship with God, your state of the heart, and how you cooperate with the Holy Spirit in applying the wisdom of His guidance and conviction. God is the final judge, “for the Word of God…is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart…” [Hebrews 4:12.] However, continually nurturing fleshly diva impulses and patterns will still bring visible bad fruit on the outside. So let God deal with our hearts.
And, despite the multiplicity of the carnal diva behavior, the call to repentance is one: to mortify the deeds of the flesh, to NOT be carnal minded but be spiritually minded in all humility and exercising of moderation. [Romans 8:6, 12&13; Philippians 4:5]
We may leave the admiration of the cleavage and accentuated body curves for the person entitled to it–our spouse–and bring spiritual substance to the podium; to heal the sick and broken in heart, to convict the sinner and fortify the saint.
Finally, brothers and sisters, if any of us should feel convicted in this, I invite you through Hebrews 4:14-16;
Vs. 16, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
Assurance: at the throne of God are great Mercies and forgiveness, as well as grace to help us adopt spiritually minded ministry patterns, lifestyle, and attitudes rooted in Christ centred–and not self centred–state of heart. And God will be glorified, in Christ, and you’ll bear much fruit; some thirtyfold, others sixtyfold, and others a hundred fold.
In His Love. Amen.

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