Is Kayne West Boasting? Or Shining A Light?

Posted at 09:50am on 10th November 2019

Have you ever thought, on Remembrance Day, about how you would like to be known? Perhaps as who you are: husband/wife, father/mother, son/daughter? Or by what you do accountant/shopkeeper, secretary/ lawyer, nurse/charity worker/singer? Or possibly, by what you've achieved?


According to Premier Media, American music artist, Kayne West, wants to change his name to Christian Genius Billionaire Kayne West. Wow! That's a bit of a mouthful isn't it? Yet he has plenty to boast about. A rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, and fashion designer, Kayne West has achieved great success. And he's only forty-two years of age!


So what is actually going on here?

We're about to celebrate Remembrance Day as I write, a time when we honour those who gave their lives so that we might live and know freedom. Likewise, we quite rightly give military awards, medals and knighthoods to people who give freely and faithfully, in order that others might benefit.

Brought up, as I was, in an era of zipped lips, however, the ethos was one of concealment when it came to one's own achievements. No matter what you had accomplished, it was considered impolite to speak of it. Boasting was not the done thing!

Similarly, back in the days of blackout curtains, shining a light that the enemy might see, was a criminal offence. But what if that light were for the benefit of others? Could it be that this is what Kayne West is trying to do?


It's not for me to judge the integrity of Kayne West, but I would like to share a truth that I learned some years ago. It's a story I've told a few times and one that resonates with me still.

There is much talk of contaminated bloods these days, and those suffering with HIV and AIDS as a result. It is nearly twenty-five years since I was commissioned, by Hodder & Stoughton, to write the story of a young scientist who, a haemophiliac, was a victim of this atrocity. Titled The Last Mountain: Living with AIDS, the book went to No 4 in the Sunday Times Bestseller List.

Naturally, I was delighted. The book had achieved its intention: to show HIV and AIDS sufferers that there was still hope. I've written recently about the power of platform, and how to promote a product without being pushy. But when, at a conference, I was introduced by Edward England as a 'bestselling author', I cringed with embarrassment. Stuttering and denying the claim, I must have looked pretty pathetic.

'Don't hide your light under a bushel,' David Coffey, the keynote speaker, admonished me. 'It's not yours to hide.'


That comment, repeated to me over the years from Matthew 5:15-16, has had a profound effect. Because what it shows is that in promoting our gifts and achievements, we are not boasting! What we are doing, is attempting to draw attention to the One who made us; the One who opened our eyes to the truths we've learned from Him; truths that will help others; lessons that will set them free from the bondage of feeling a failure; revelations that will give purpose and meaning to their lives.

Is that what Kayne West is trying to do? To show other black men that with faith in the Creator God they, too, may discover their talents, the gifts they've been given, and the way in which they might be used for the benefit of yet more people living in the darkness of poverty, famine and war.

You can't switch that darkness off. What you can do - should do - is to shine the light you've been given. Only then will the darkness recede.
My latest book, Picked for a Purpose, shows how, even in difficult times, we all have a light to shine.

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