Rob here. My 5 year old son, Jake, loves music. Lately he’s been getting us organised into a band with mum’s guitar, his electronic drum set and a toy keyboard. Now, we’re not playing along to ‘Twinkle, twinkle little star’ here. Oh no! He’s discovered dad’s Bon Jovi CD! “I like this noisy music dad” he says. I love it! However, when you have a little boy listening to grown-up CD’s you become very aware of the lyrical content. The ‘skip’ button is quite well used
One song that I haven’t been skipping is one called ‘It’s My Life’. It was big hit for them back in 2000 or so. It’s a great song (one of Jake’s favourites) but the lyrics are starting to get under my skin. Here’s the first verse and chorus:
This ain’t a song for the brokenhearted No silent prayer for the faith departed And I ain’t gonna be just a face in the crowd You’re gonna hear my voice when I shout it out loud
It’s my life It’s now or never I ain’t gonna live forever I just wanna live while I’m alive (It’s my life)
My heart is like an open highway Like Frankie said, “I did it my way” I just wanna live while I’m alive ‘Cause it’s my life. (It’s My Life lyrics Songwriters: Bon Jovi, Jon; Martin, Max; Sambora, Richard S;)
Now I’m not here to judge the songwriters. They sure know how to write a good riff and they’re not claiming to be theologians. But the reality is the song is a godless response to a God-given desire.
You simply can’t separate God from life and we are made for life. More specifically, we can’t separate Jesus from life. One of the (many) big claims of the New Testament is that Christ is our life (e.g. Colossians 3:4). Jesus says to us, “I am the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6)” because it’s true! He is the “bread of life (John 6:35)”, the “author of life (Acts 3:15)”, the “Word of life (1 John 1:1)” and “the resurrection and the life (John 11:25).” If we want to be fully alive we are told to “Seek the Lord and live (Amos 5:6).” As disciples of Jesus the Messiah we are to count ourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus (Romans 6:11).
I’m glad that Jon Bon Jovi wants to be fully alive; that he doesn’t want to settle for mediocrity. One of my favourite quotes is from a guy called Gil Bailie (who apparently got it from Howard Thurman: thanks Wikipedia!): “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” But to gain life we have to go to the source of life: Jesus Christ. He in turn tells us that to gain life we have to lose it; we have to surrender our life to him, die with him on the cross of Calvary and only then will we know what true life looks like. Gaining life is a painful process! Believe me, I know! But if we want life we have to realise that we can’t be fully alive on our terms! That is not reality. True life is when the life of Jesus fills us. Only then do we become truly ourselves and truly alive…forever.
Have a listen to Bon Jovi. Hear the desperation for life and significance; hear yours and do what the song doesn’t – take it to Jesus!