I grew up in the era of Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and Beyoncé. I can still rattle off all the words to songs like "Baby, One More Time," "Cry Me a River," and "Bootylicious." Yeah....what can I say. Pop music is just that - popular. The beat gets stuck in your head and you can't get it out. As a young girl, you think JT is hot and you wish you were as hot as Britney or Beyoncé. It is so easy as a teenager to watch the music videos and get caught up in all the Hollywood hotness.
Today, as a mother of two baby girls that will eventually be young girls, I am so much more aware to the lyrics of songs on the radio. It isn't just a steady beat - it is music that is speaking to our youth - whether we realize it or not. I saw a VH1 special on Katy Perry about how she tried at first to be a Christian musician but she didn't make it in that world. Now, she is the Teenage Dream and I wonder if she's "ever looked back" since she has hit it big mainstream.
Friends, the other day I was driving down the road and was tired of listening to the radio commercials and I flipped to a station that plays pop hits. At first, it was just back-ground music. And then, I started to realize what the artist was saying. She sang, "All my life I've been good, but now I'm thinking what the hell, all I want is to mess around." The more I listened to this song, the more outrageous it became. It started to make me mad - really mad - that a young girl was singing about sleeping around. Pulling into my driveway, I wondered how that girl on the radio got to this place in her life. I don't know if the song is about something real to that artist or not but I know it is real to millions of her fans. There are so many young girls in high school and college sleeping around - just for fun. But, is it really fun after the fact? Is it fun when the boy you slept with is making out with another girl? Or, is it fun to wake up next to someone and you don't remember how you got there? It doesn't sound like much fun to me.
The rest of the afternoon, I couldn't get that song out of my head much in part to the peppy, upbeat tone. But, the more I thought of the song, the more clear the lyrics became to me. My anger towards the lyrics began to subside and my heart started to reach out for the voice behind the song. The girl in the song was clearly hurt. She was sad and she wanted revenge. So, she submitted herself to a lifestyle where she tried to forget her pain. Friends, even though she sounds happy, I wonder how she feels on the inside? Is she happy with herself and the choices she has made? Below are the lyrics to the song, "What The Hell" and also a little perspective for the girl in the song from our friend Jesus.....
*You say that I'm messing with your head All cause I was making out with your friend Love hurts whether it's right or wrong I can't stop cause I'm having too much fun
"You're familiar with the old written law, 'Love your friend,' and its unwritten companion, 'Hate your enemy.' I'm challenging that. I'm telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty." - Matthew 5:43
You're on your knees Begging please Stay with me But honestly I just need to be a little crazy
"You've already put in your time in that God-ignorant way of life, partying night after night, a drunken and profligate life. Now it's time to be done with it for good. Of course, your old friends don't understand why you don't join in with the old gang anymore. But you don't have to give an account to them. They're the ones who will be called on the carpet—and before God himself." - 1 Peter 4:3
All my life I've been good, But now I'm thinking What The Hell All I want is to mess around And I don't really care about If you love me If you hate me You can save me Baby, baby All my life I've been good But now Whoaaa... What The Hell
"Or, you may fall on your knees and pray—to God's delight! You'll see God's smile and celebrate, finding yourself set right with God. You'll sing God's praises to everyone you meet, testifying, 'I messed up my life— and let me tell you, it wasn't worth it. But God stepped in and saved me from certain death. I'm alive again! Once more I see the light!' - Job 33:26
So what if I go out on a million dates You never call or listen to me anyway I'd rather rage than sit around and wait all day Don't get me wrong I just need some time to play
"Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don't use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don't stay angry. Don't go to bed angry. Don't give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life." - Ephesians 4:26
Friends, we are all like this girl in some way. We get hurt, we sin, and we turn our backs on God out of fear that He won't love us anymore. But friends, our Jesus loves us so much that He took away all of our sins. I have made so many mistakes in my life and done things that I shouldn't have done. We've all said "What the Hell" a time or two. But, when hurt comes in we need to give it to God rather than turning away and going a little crazy. Below is a bit from Psalm 51. Let's pray this together:
1-3Generous in love—God, give grace! Huge in mercy—wipe out my bad record. Scrub away my guilt, soak out my sins in your laundry. I know how bad I've been; my sins are staring me down.
4-6 You're the One I've violated, and you've seen it all, seen the full extent of my evil. You have all the facts before you; whatever you decide about me is fair. I've been out of step with you for a long time, in the wrong since before I was born. What you're after is truth from the inside out. Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life.
7-15 Soak me in your laundry and I'll come out clean, scrub me and I'll have a snow-white life. Tune me in to foot-tapping songs, set these once-broken bones to dancing. Don't look too close for blemishes, give me a clean bill of health. God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life. Don't throw me out with the trash, or fail to breathe holiness in me. Bring me back from gray exile, put a fresh wind in my sails! Give me a job teaching rebels your ways so the lost can find their way home. Commute my death sentence, God, my salvation God, and I'll sing anthems to your life-giving ways. Unbutton my lips, dear God; I'll let loose with your praise.
Till next time, let your light shine!
*Avril Lavigne What The Hell lyrics found on http://www.directlyrics.com/avril-lavigne-what-the-hell-lyrics.html