Monday, August 24, 2009

This post was originally published at my old blog, But it does seem a waste to let a post that combines both Christianity and Bon Jovi just sit there. So I’ve decided to publish it again here.

Bon Jovi is the band I never quite grew out of. I started liking them as a teenager. And even though my taste in music has changed considerably since then, and I no longer like many of the bands I liked them, my love for Bon Jovi remains.

I think one of the reasons for that is that Bon Jovi continues to produce great music. Another reason is that everybody needs at one teenage band they don’t quite grow out of. And the third reason is that a lot of Bon Jovi’s music seems to say something to me about faith and God. I once joked to a friend that if you think of any song that has the words ‘God, faith, Jesus or prayer’ in it as a Christian song, then I spend a lot of time listening to Christian music. Of course, they’re not really Christian songs. But they do have some good messages, from a Christian perspective.

So here are my top 5 Bon Jovi songs, purely from a faith perspective.

Hey God!
Hey God -
Tell me what the hell is going on
Seems like all the good shits gone
It keeps on getting harder hanging on
Hey God,
there's nights you know I want to scream
These days you've even harder to believe
I know how busy you must be,
but Hey God...
Do you ever think about me

I like this song because it reminds me of all the people who want to believe in God, but find it hard to, because life isn’t working out the way they want and it seems like God doesn’t care. Now I don’t think God’s role is to go around making sure that everybody’s life is perfect. But the fact remains that life is tough for some people. And often it’s hard to believe in God, when life is tough.

Everybody’s Broken

It's so hard to believe
It's easier to doubt
You're trying to hold in
But you're dying to scream out
It's okay to be a little broken
Everybody's broken in this life
It's okay to feel a little broken
Everybody's broken, you're alright
It's alright, it's just life
Take a look around
Tell me what you see
Is who you think you are
Who you wanna be?

This song sounds a bit depressing, but it’s actually quite a feel good song. I know I love to play it when I’m feeling inadequate or like I just want to retreat from the world for a while, because I’m too ‘broken’ to belong to it. Because it reminds me that everybody is broken. We all have problems. We all have pains. We all have things that need fixing. We’re all sinners, in other words.

Welcome to Wherever You Are

Maybe we're different, but we're still the same
We all got the blood of Eden, running through our veins
I know sometimes it's hard for you to see
You come between just who you are and who you wanna be
If you feel alone, and lost and need a friend
Remember every new beginning, is some beginning's end
Welcome to wherever you are
This is your life, you made it this far
Welcome, you gotta believe
That right here right now, you're exactly where you're supposed to be
Welcome, to wherever you are

This song is similar to Everybody’s broken, in that it reminds me that we all have problems, and none of us are perfect. I particularly like the line ‘You come between just who you are and who you wanna be.’ It reminds me of Romans 7:15: I do not know why I do the things I do. I do not do what I want to do. But I do the things I hate. I think many Christians can relate to the fact that we are caught between who are are and who we want to be. But it’s a reminder also that, even though we’re not yet at that place where we do want to be, we should be thankful for being where we are.

Keep the Faith

Walking in the footsteps
Of society’s lies
I dont like what I see no more
Sometimes I wish that I was blind
Sometimes I wait forever
To stand out in the rain
So no one sees me cryin
Trying to wash away the pain
Mother father
There’s things I’ve done I can’t erase
Every night we fall from grace
It’s hard with the world in your face
Trying to hold on, trying to hold on
Faith: you know you’re gonna live thru the rain
Lord you got to keep the faith
Faith: don’t let your love turn to hate
Right now we got to keep the faith
Faith: now its not too late
Try to hold on, trying to hold on
Keep the faith

It was really hard to find a small portion of this to cut and paste. I just wanted to use the whole song. This song is a reminder that having faith is hard. And that the world isn’t that nice a place sometimes. There are things out there I don’t want to see. Things that cause me pain. And things that make it very hard sometimes to continue to live as a Christian. But despite all that, despite all the pain, despite all the ugliness, despite all the ways that I fail, I’ve got to keep the faith anyway. I’ve got to continue to believe and hold on to God.

I am

I Am
When you think that no-one needs you
Sees you or believes you
No ones there to understand
I Am
I'll be there to be that someone
When you think that no one, is there to hold your hand
I Am
We're just who we are, there's no pretending
It takes a while to learn to live in your own skin
Say a prayer that we might find our happy ending
And if you're in, you know I'm in
I'm ready and I'm willing

Okay, I see this song as basically a song about God. And it is such a beautiful reminder of the love that God has for us. Because when we think no-one sees us, or understands us, God is there. Yahweh (I am) is that someone who will always be there. I also like that line that says, ‘It takes a while to learn to live in your own skin’. Another reminder that we’re all on the journey. None of us are where we need to be yet.

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