Usually I’m one of those “No Christmas songs until AFTER Thanksgiving” kind of people. But this year, the first week of November finally rolled around, and I was like, “It is definitely not too early to play Christmas songs.” I think this shift came because I realized I wouldn’t hear Christmas songs everywhere that I was not going this year, and because this year any excuse to celebrate was something I wanted. So I started playing Christmas music the first week of November.
Needless to say, I thus listened to a lot of Christmas music. And being the kind of person that I am, I started evaluating the lyrics of Christmas songs.
Do you ever stop and think about what blatant and/or subtle messages are in the lyrics of the songs you are hearing?
I hope you do. Though, if you are like me, you probably have also at times blanket allowed into your life a collection of songs and artists. And sometimes in those collections are songs that have slipped past your defenses by coming in with a group and were not songs that you paused at the door and evaluated on their own basis.
Sometimes one of those songs is even a beloved classic that you suddenly stop and evaluate and realize how messed up its message really is. Take for instance the song “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” The song is about a reindeer that is being ridiculed by his fellow reindeer because he is different. And the only reason that ridicule changes is because Santa decides Rudolph’s difference is something that is useful to him. And why do the other reindeer love Rudolph in the end? Not because they now recognize Rudolph’s inherent value but because Santa is a big deal, and Santa wanted his help. So in other words, Rudolph is now cool and valuable to them because of Santa.
Because you know if you can just get noticed by that celebrity you follow, maybe then they will give you value and end the ridicule you are facing.
But what happens if that celebrity doesn’t ever notice how helpful you could be to them? Do you then really not have value because no other person around you has bothered to “give” you value? Should you then just accept the continual ridicule and commentary of others that you are worthless? Talk about a road to suicide. And believe me, I am not saying that flippantly. This is a road I have watched young people walk because this is the mentality of value they have been taught by society.
You know what I would tell Rudolph? Help Santa if you want, but then get out of there and go find real friends who actually care about you and don’t just value you once you are famous. Because people like Rudolphs fellow reindeer are the kind of people who will just as soon pretend to be your friend as stab you in the back if that is what gets them closer to stardom and being “valued” themselves.
When it comes to the messages we are listening to and receiving into our lives, we would do much better seeking out and holding onto the truth in the theology of songs like “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” the celebratory song of the birth of our King who valued us so much that He was willing to come as a babe and die on our behalf so that we could be raised to heaven with Him. Because God made us, and to Him we are inherently valuable.
Which reminds me of a few lines of lyrics of a song that King David wrote to God.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
Challenge: In this New Year, please do not let people determine your value, rather know your inherent value to God and live your life in His grace, truth, and love.