A few days ago, the video below was posted to YouTube featuring Bishop T.D. Jakes as a guest on the Steve Harvey Show.
In the segment about finding happiness, Jakes states, “Your big house is not going to make you happy… Peace and joy is in your heart and not in your stuff.”
The conversation seemed to be related to simpler and smaller living, so we posted it to our Facebook page.
In just a few hours, it had already turned out to be one of the most popular posts to our page in recent months.
At the time of this writing, just a few hours after posting the video, over 3,000 people have viewed the post and there are over 30 likes.
Despite the apparent interest in the video (it has about 5 million total views in three days), three people were apparently offended by it, primarily due to criticisms about T.D. Jakes.
Comments included, “Doesn’t this guy live in a mansion worth nearly $7 million?” and “The hypocrisy is staggering, and this is pretty inappropriate for the list.” One person commented, “This from someone who’s parishioners have paid for his biggest house(s).”
Someone responded to these criticisms saying, “but he is saying a big house doesn’t make you happy and he should know!”
A simple Google search on T.D. Jakes and the word scandal produces over 180,000 results. That’s probably typical for any powerful high profile person today. Depending on your viewpoint, Jakes is either a villain or hero. If you’re among his 4 million Facebook fans, you probably think he’s a hero.
Focus on Promoting Smaller Living
There are people helping promote the message of simpler smaller living who may have views and motives contrary to ours. Some may be builders, bloggers, authors, and others in the movement for purely opportunistic reasons. Others may be public figures promoting a message of simpler smaller living. (We know little about T.D. Jakes’ personal life or where he stands on various issues.)
One approach would be to censor, silence, criticize, marginalize, and discredit anyone we don’t agree with, or those we feel aren’t ‘true followers’ of the movement.
However, the approach we take is this: If a builder, blogger, author, or public figure is promoting a message about smaller and simpler living, we’re going to consider them as valuable to our cause.
There are people who seem to be taking advantage of the movement by launching websites filled with advertising. Their primary goal appears to be making money on advertising, and they don’t seem to care about the movement. Others care deeply about the movement and are selflessly giving of their time and resources.
While at some level we care about people’s motives, ultimately if their activities are promoting our message, we’re not here to judge people, but to spread a message.
T.D. Jakes Impact
Years ago, when the Oprah Winfrey Show contacted us about a small house episode, we didn’t refuse to work with their team because Oprah lives in a big house. We didn’t start judging Oprah’s lifestyle choices. When prominent public figures with millions of followers show an interest in the smaller and simpler message, we support them.
T.D. Jakes has a significant following and impact through social media. So, regardless of whether someone is a supporter or critic of him, his message about simpler smaller living, is a message that is important.
Here’s a brief summary about T.D. Jakes social media reach:
So, if T.D. Jakes wants to talk about simpler and smaller living, that’s fine with us.
The Message and The Messenger
Maybe you’re someone who feels that you’re more perfect than the next person. Here’s something to consider…
There are plenty of broken and imperfect people in the world. Despite their failings or even apparent hypocrisy, these people accomplish much good in the world.
Sometimes an inspired and valuable message will come through an imperfect messenger.
In varying degrees we’re all imperfect and each have our shortcomings. We’re all doing the best we can to have a positive impact on the world. Let’s do our best to work together cooperatively and respectfully.