Sir Elton John is a legendary musician. He is an EGOT, one of the elite class of artists who have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony. This is just a small sample of his numerous awards and accolades, all well deserved. I have always been fascinated that all of his songs are written with a lyricist. His most well-known collaborator is Bernie Taupin. Together, they have produced iconic songs such as, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” and “Rocket Man.” The process usually begins with Bernie Taupin writing the lyrics and giving it to Elton John, who then composes the music. Their interaction is surprisingly minimal.
In an earlier generation, the collaboration of the Gershwin brothers, George and Ira, and Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II have produced classic American songs, now considered a part of the essential great American songbook. With each pair, one was the lyricist and the other the composer. This type of collaboration is in contrast to artists who compose their own music and write their own lyrics. There are numerous examples such as Carole King, Paul McCartney and Billy Joel.
A great song needs powerful lyrics and a memorable melody. Individually, each skill requires an extraordinary degree of talent and doing both is exceptional as their respective collections of music can attest. There are other skill sets that parallel this example. Some people are great speakers but are not great speech writers. The converse is also true. Like singer/songwriters, it is rare to have one individual able to master both skills.
For some say, “Paul’s letters are demanding and forceful, but in person he is weak, and his speeches are worthless!” Those people should realize that our actions when we arrive in person will be as forceful as what we say in our letters from far away.
2 Corinthians 10:10-11 (NLT)
I may be unskilled as a speaker, but I’m not lacking in knowledge. We have made this clear to you in every possible way.
2 Corinthians 11:6 (NLT)
In his second letter to the Corinthian church, the Apostle Paul shared that he is not a gifted speaker. It was a surprising revelation, especially coming from Paul, one of the greatest missionaries for Jesus Christ. His confession was revealing. Few of us have all of the skill sets to be successful. Even the Apostle Paul struggled with his oratorical skills. How reassuring it is to know that when God calls us to do His work, He will equip us with the perfect combination of skills that will bring glory to Him. Whatever weaknesses Paul perceived he had with speaking, God more than compensated him with the powerful message of the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.