Taylor Swift - Look what you made Jesus do
Taylor Swift’s latest song, “Look what you made me do,” has racked up over 10 million streams on Spotify. And her new album, “Reputation,” is due out soon.
This marks a coming of age for Taylor Swift.
As the video clip says, “I’m sorry, but the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now … ‘cause she’s dead.”
No more bubbly pop. No more happy, clappy, golly-gosh love songs. Instead Taylor takes us to a much darker place.
You see, the world is not all happy. We can’t just laugh off misbehaviour as “boys will be boys.” This is because there are bad people out there. And Taylor bravely calls them out for their crimes.
In the song, Taylor chants, “All I think about is karma.”
She appoints herself as the bringer of karma – justice, vengeance, righteous anger. She calls a wrong a “wrong”. She names and shames.
An obvious example is the recent sexual-assault case involving a radio host.
But, if so, maybe our current Western storyline also needs a coming of age moment.
We live inside the bubbly pop echo-chamber of “be true to yourself,” “do whatever it takes to make you happy,” and “don’t let others judge.”
But others - such as Taylor Swift - have the right to judge us. We do have to give an account of ourselves to others. We can’t excuse our selfishness as simply “being true to ourselves.” We can’t sweep away our wrongs as us doing “whatever it takes to be happy.”
But are we condemned only to darkness? Can we ever love again, or are we now dead to that?
In the Bible, God says, “This is love … not that we loved God, but he loved us. God gave us his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our crimes.”
Jesus resolves our dilemma by being both darkness and light, judge and lover, karma-bringer and karma-taker.
Jesus has the right to judge. But he also loves us, takes away the karma we deserve, and sets us free to love again.
Just like Taylor Swift is dead to her old self, we can also be dead to our old self. But unlike the video, we are not condemned to stay in darkness. In Jesus, we can be alive to a new self of light, hope, and bubbly-pop love.