After hearing a popular song in various places, some of the lyrics made me start to ponder how a person could love “better.” Instead I discovered a different definition for sin.
While I tend to listen to Christian music rather than the mainstream popular music, there’s been a song I’ve noticed in videos on Facebook and Instagram. I had no idea what it was called or who sang it until I happened to watch a YouTube video that was reviewing the quality of popular music from a musical composition perspective. The mysterious song was uncovered to be “Flowers” by Miley Cyrus. It is quite a catchy tune, but the main lyrics give a list of superficial actions that are supposed to equate to love, with the main message/refrain being “I can love me better than you can.”
Earworm is the term used to describe a song or part of a song that keeps repeating in one’s mind. And the chorus of this song was fully entrenched in my brain. It felt like a bad game of whack-a-mole, only it was wack-a-song — everytime it popped up in my brain, I would try thinking of another song, which quickly reverted back to the unwanted one. The more I thought about it, the sillier the song seemed to be. If the writer is only seeing things like flowers, dancing, and holding hands as love, then no wonder the relationship is failing. It is a pop song, so I know I can’t take it too seriously, but some simple songs can convey great meaning; this is just not one of them.
While I’m not quite sure about the thought process that led me from thinking about the lyrics of the song to a relationship with God, somehow my brain ended up wondering about the attitude of that song as a response to God. That’s when the ton of bricks fell on my head and I realized that’s EXACTLY what sin is! There can be many definitions of sin, most of them from a negation perspective like not doing God’s will or turning away from God. However, sin is choosing ourselves over God, like the song says, we say to God that we can love ourselves better than He can. It’s almost painful to write that and to see it in black and white. It’s totally not possible for us to love ourselves better than God can. We don’t even know ourselves as much as God knows us, as He knows our full story since He exists outside of time and space. We can only know our present and our past, our future is still a mystery for us. Everything we have comes from God: the world around us, our family and friends, our talents and personality, every breath that we take, and every beat of our heart.
Our human nature wants to be in control. Love is risky as we need to open ourselves up and trust another. Yet God has proven Himself over many generations, throughout the Scriptures, through the lives of the saints, and even within our own lives. The only way we can love ourselves better, is when we let God love us. When we open ourselves to trust Him, His will, and respond to that love by showering others with the love He shows us. We can all try to love better, but no one can love better than Love Himself, who came to earth, proclaimed the kingdom of God, gave His life for us, all so that we can have a personal relationship with Him.
God is the perfection of Love. Perhaps the next time we examine our conscience, maybe we reflect on the ways that we’ve told God either in word or deed, that we love ourselves more than He. It may be painful at first, but through the merciful love of God, we may be able to love better by loving as God does.