Finding the Gospel in Unexpected Places

The biggest thing that I will take away from my time in Seminary is my “theology brain”. What I mean by that is I can rarely just sit and listen to something anymore, especially in church but also in my everyday life.  In church, I am constantly trying to understand the theological implications behind what we’re doing. Overall, I think it is a good thing, but I have to be careful to stop myself from having a critical spirit. It is funny, I think the stereotype in culture is that Christians are uneducated thinkers, but personally, my pursuit of authentic Christianity has honed my critical thinking skills more than any public educational experience.

Another situation when this “theology brain” happens to me is listening to the radio. Most of the time I realize that the theology or world view coming through the speakers isn’t a very good one, but every once in a while something will catch my attention. Sometimes, I’ll hear a song that taps into a truth about God or the world even if I know that isn’t the artist’s intention. One such song is “Just Give Me A Reason” by P!nk. (You may be thinking, “Wait… what??”, just go with me for a bit.)

Well, lets take a walk through the lyrics shall we?

“Just Give Me A Reason”
by P!nk
(feat. Nate Ruess)

Right from the start
You were a thief
You stole my heart
And I your willing victim
I let you see the parts of me
That weren’t all that pretty
And with every touch you fixed them
When I read these lyrics I can’t help but think of Eve and the serpent in the Garden. “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.” (Genesis 3:6) Eve was a willing victim to Satan’s snare thinking that the sin he offered would fix the seemingly lacking parts in her. Not only does this happen to Eve, but it also happens to all of us. This thought touches the very core of who we are as fallen humanity.
Now you’ve been talking in your sleep, oh, oh
Things you never say to me, oh, oh
Tell me that you’ve had enough
Of our love, our love

Again, just as quickly as Satan draws us in, he leaves us behind. The temptation never tells us that up front of course. Tragically, we all discover that every touch doesn’t fix us, but it leaves us even emptier than when we started.

Just give me a reason
Just a little bit’s enough
Just a second we’re not broken just bent
And we can learn to love again
It’s in the stars
It’s been written in the scars on our hearts
We’re not broken just bent
And we can learn to love again

At this point, we might realize that something’s going wrong and we need to change. We need to get back to what we were created to be, and there’s something within us that tells us that restoration is possible. But restoration doesn’t just happen in an instant; we have to fight for it.

I’m sorry I don’t understand
Where all of this is coming from
I thought that we were fine
(Oh, we had everything)
Your head is running wild again
My dear we still have everythin’
And it’s all in your mind
(Yeah, but this is happenin’)
You’ve been havin’ real bad dreams, oh, oh
You used to lie so close to me, oh, oh
There’s nothing more than empty sheets
Between our love, our love
Oh, our love, our love

Just as we start to fight for our freedom, Satan comes to promise us the world. And oh how Christ understands where we are at this moment when we stand on the ledge between good and evil. Satan came to him with the same offer. “The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world.  And he said to him, ‘I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.'” (Luke 4:5-7)

Just give me a reason
Just a little bit’s enough
Just a second we’re not broken just bent
And we can learn to love again
I never stopped
You’re still written in the scars on my heart
You’re not broken just bent
And we can learn to love again
Oh, tear ducts and rust
I’ll fix it for us
We’re collecting dust
But our love’s enough
You’re holding it in
You’re pouring a drink
No nothing is as bad as it seems
We’ll come clean

By God’s grace we are able to turn from our sins by the power of his resurrection. However, even after our conversion we still have to fight the temptation to fix things ourselves without Christ’s help.

Just give me a reason
Just a little bit’s enough
Just a second we’re not broken just bent
And we can learn to love again
It’s in the stars
It’s been written in the scars on our hearts
That we’re not broken just bent
And we can learn to love again
Just give me a reason
Just a little bit’s enough
Just a second we’re not broken just bent
And we can learn to love again
It’s in the stars
It’s been written in the scars on our hearts
That we’re not broken just bent
And we can learn to love again
Oh, we can learn to love again
Oh, we can learn to love again
Oh, oh, that we’re not broken just bent
And we can learn to love again

The amazing part of it all, is that despite the lies, pain and sin we might allow ourselves to become tangled up in, we can learn to love again. Through the mercy of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for us we can be restored to true, pure love again. A love for God that overflows into our relationships with our fellow man. But in our earthly life, the fight against sin is not over. It is from an eternal perspective, but day to day we have to keep fighting to learn to love again through the power of the Holy Spirit knowing that the battle has already been won.

…or maybe I’m just reading too much into the song? Hard to say. 😉


I’ll end with the big disclaimer, yes I know that she is likely talking about a relational struggle with a lover, but sometimes our experience in the material world reflects transcendent reality in a way that can draw us nearer to God. 

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Manda says:

    What lovely reflections! Perhaps you were stretching what she though the intentions were for the song, but if it is a human truth to find, it is just a true and beautiful even if the artist was uncertain how others would interpret the art.

  2. TrishaDM says:

    Awesome! I love finding theology in song lyrics, even in ones that don’t necessarily have it in there intentionally. It just works sometimes.

    1. Sarah says:

      Thanks. I felt like I needed to write about it because that’s what I would hear whenever the song came on the radio.

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