We all know what Black People Timing is, but as a believer have you ever stopped to ask whether it is actually right or not? Being black has become an excuse for being constantly late...in fact, it has become an identity.
As a Christian, your identity should no longer come from your culture but from Christ. This doesn't mean that you are no longer "black" but that your blackness is supposed to submit itself to the One you call Lord. So, whatever manner of thinking or doing that stems from culture or tradition, but opposes the principles and patterns of the Kingdom are to be put down.
Black People Timing (BPT) is the understanding that black people are ALWAYS late. But let's be real, this only really applies when it is a non-work/career based event, because events that you think benefit YOU are just too important to be late for, right? It's all about what you value...Black People Timing is a premeditated thing... we're not talking about unforseen/unavoidable circumstances that cause someone to be late (in which you can still let people know in advance), we're talking about a deliberate decision to disregard a person's request for you to be somewhere at a certain time and arrive at the time that YOU feel like because you're more important in your eyes than the person who is hosting/meeting you - it's just plain rudeness.
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. (Philippians 2:3, ESV)
When a person puts on an event, or even just organises to meet up with you, they have chosen to give to you / share with you their time and energy that they can never get back. If you are asked / arrange to be somewhere at a certain time, but then you do not PLAN to be there at that time, you are not operating out of love, but are considering yourself more important. Planning requires forethought... if you do not give it any thought or "consideration" then by default you are not considering the other person's feelings neither are you considering the responsibilities they may have to keep after or because of the meeting / event. When you deliberately arrive late, you are demonstrating a lack of respect and showing that you don't care.
It [love] is not rude; it is not self-seeking... (1 Corinthians 13:5a, AMP)
As believers, our commandment is to love one another as Christ loved us (John 13:34-35), this is the way that people will know we are His disciples. If we continue to operate on BPT, we are not showing the love that Christ showed us and thus people will know that we are "black", but they will not be able to recognise that we are Christ's disciples. The love that Jesus showed us is a love of sacrifice, a love that lays down ones life for another. If arriving on time means that you have to leave that little bit earlier, then it is worth the sacrifice; if arriving on time means that you don't get to watch your favourite TV programme, then it is worth the sacrifice; if arriving on time means you have to sacrifice scrolling through social media for 30 minutes, then it is worth the sacrifice. Laying down our lives for one another is worth it, if it means revealing Christ to this world. BPT can seem harmless and makes for a good joke, but when we choose to be black over being Christian, we miss the opportunity to manifest Christ.
To end this post I just want to give some practical tips regarding this area:
Plan to arrive 10-15 minutes early - if you live in London or any major city, traffic can be unpredictable. If you give yourself a little leeway by always planning to arrive slightly early, even if there is a bit of traffic, you will still be on time. If there ends up not being any traffic? Then just be early! Lol. There's nothing wrong with being the first one there!
If you know in ADVANCE that you'll be late let the appropriate people know - nobody likes to be the one waiting in suspense. Don't wait until the time of arrival to let them know you're running late, but as soon as you recognise that you are late call/text.
Be honest - no one likes the person who says, "I'm around the corner", but actually they're 30 minutes away - that's called LYING. If you value your relationships then tell the truth, otherwise how can you be trusted?
Do the necessary things first - When you're getting ready try not to waste time doing things that have nothing to do with your goal of getting ready. Accomplish your goal first (get ready) and if you have time to spare, THEN you can chill and do unnecessary things.
Don't make promises you can't keep - If you know you have other commitments on a particular day, then let whoever it is know what time you think you can make it and make arrangements accordingly. Don't agree to be somewhere at a certain time when you know full well that you can't make it.
I hope this post encourages you to honour God and love one another in your timekeeping.
In His love always,