Monday, November 11, 2013

UNCONDITIONALLY, Katy Perry, and Young Life

Katy Perry's new song, 'Unconditionally,' debuted a few weeks ago and is quickly climbing the charts (along with 'Roar' and 'Dark Horse.')  

Teenagers love Katy Perry. The lyrics she wrote in 'Unconditionally' are a wide open door to discussing the Gospel with our middle and high schoolers friends. 

MTV's 'Buzzworthy' reviewed the song this way:

"When it comes to Katy Perry's lyrics, simplicity and clarity have always been key. When done right, a chorus doesn't need anything more than what the second 'Prism' single provides: "Unconditional/ Unconditionally/ I will love you unconditionally."


BAM! And then it hit me. Is Katy singing to Jesus? Is she singing as Jesus? Is "Unconditionally" basically Ms. Perry's private Christ fan fiction set to music? Is Katy actually a Pentecostal sleeper cell set to awaken and proselytize her spiritual message only once she's finally captured the secular world's attention?! Most importantly, is the song so good that I just can't be bothered to care? Yes... for now."

'Unconditionally' would be a perfect Campaigners discussion starter. You could also use it in a need, sin, or cross talk. 

"Oh no, did I get too close? Oh, did I almost see what's really on the inside? All your insecurities. All your dirty laundry."

One of our greatest fears is being exposed and rejected.  
If people know what I'm really like, will they still accept me?

"Acceptance is the key to be to be truly free. Will you do the same for me?"

Does anyone on this earth actually love you unconditionally? Maybe your parents? Does anyone at your school love you unconditionally?  If you cheated on your boy/girl friend, would they still love you?  If you betrayed your friends, would they still want to be your friend? 

Our world operates in conditional relationships. Perry's cry is the longing of all of our hearts. We crave intimacy: to be fully known and fully accepted. 

We look everywhere we can for that acceptance.

The opposite sex. 
Report cards.
Trophies.
Scholarships.
How many likes we get on Instagram. 

Perry's search for unconditional love in another person will always let her down. Help your middle and high school friends remember the many times people have let them down. The ONLY ONE who is truly able to love us unconditionally is the One who demonstrated that unconditional love by dying for His enemies. 

It's critical when discussing this topic to explain how we make sense of God's justice.  God doesn't just say, 'It's OK that you have 'dirty laundry,' I still accept you.' God hates our 'dirty laundry. He hates our sin. He is perfect and holy.

His unconditional acceptance can only happen because our sin has been covered by the perfect blood of Jesus. Jesus took our status as 'sinner' and in the great exchange He gave us His status as 'child of God.' That's why God can love us unconditionally. 

Listen to the song here.


"Unconditionally"

Oh no, did I get too close?
Oh, did I almost see what's really on the inside?
All your insecurities
All the dirty laundry
Never made me blink one time

Unconditional, unconditionally
I will love you unconditionally
There is no fear now
Let go and just be free
I will love you unconditionally

Come just as you are to me
Don't need apologies
Know that you are worthy
I'll take your bad days with your good
Walk through the storm I would
I do it all because I love you, I love you

Unconditional, unconditionally
I will love you unconditionally
There is no fear now
Let go and just be free
I will love you unconditionally

So open up your heart and just let it begin
Open up your heart and just let it begin
Open up your heart and just let it begin
Open up your heart

Acceptance is the key to be
To be truly free
Will you do the same for me?

Unconditional, unconditionally
I will love you unconditionally
And there is no fear now
Let go and just be free
'Cause I will love you unconditionally (oh yeah)
I will love you (unconditionally)
I will love you

I will love you unconditionally

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