Can’t nobody tell me nothing… What a sad statement. These words emanate from a song I seem to hear every day of late. Every time I hear it, I shake my head. My son is into another popular song in which one guy says I ain’t ever gonna change! in a clear, defiant announcement. Again, this makes me sad.
I understand there are likely contextual considerations when it comes to these lyrics. However, the basic premise underlying them is terribly unhealthy. These guys are saying, at the root, I’ve got it figured out. Back off. Can’t nobody tell me nothing and I ain’t ever gonna change reveal a heart that is closed off from feedback. I am now who I will always be and have no intent to grow or develop. That’s a shame.
At 47 years old, I am still, every day, learning what it means to be me, how to love other people well, who God is, and so many other foundational pieces of development for me. I remember the self-absorbed jerk I once was and am grateful that somebody could tell me something (when I was ready to hear it… it took a while). I’m glad that I eventually let myself change. I’m hopeful my personal metamorphosis will continue as long as I have breath.
I hope the same for you as well, because the path to peace isn’t paved with stubbornness and unwillingness to change. Our ability to experience real shalom is dependent upon our ability to recognize our frailties and limitations and allow others to speak into our lives. Outside voices are not always right and discernment is clearly needed. But there is a difference between discernment and completely ignoring what others have to say.