looking back on all of that, it’s nice to believe

i’m three weeks too late to really capitalize on the whole post-vma hype but hey, better late than never, right?

i’m not going to talk about miley and her obsession with her tongue and twerking. i’m not going to talk about gaga and the g-string. i’m not even going to talk about justin timberlake and how i have a gigantic man crush on him. today’s post was inspired by one sentence by one person who didn’t even perform at the vma. the sentence came from the acceptance speech for the award for best female video. after thanking her fans, the winner smiled and said:

i also want to thank the person who inspired this song, and he knows exactly who he is.

right there, in the middle of a 31-second acceptance speech, we find a prime example of the gospel according to taylor swift.

whether you like her or not, it’s impossible to deny that taylor swift is one of the most influential writers of our generation. everything she writes is catchy and regardless of how much she may annoy you, if you hear one second of one song, you’re left singing it for the rest of the day. it’s just a testament for how good she is.

there’s a dangerous side of being one of the top 3 most influential female singers on the planet and that is that people will take whatever she does and multiply it more times than she could ever imagine.

the girl that first became known for writing a sweet song about a high school breakup quickly became known for her vengeful lyrics about anyone and everyone who ever did something wrong to her. it started with the song picture to burn where she wrote “so go and tell your friends that i’m obsessive and crazy. that’s fine. i’ll tell mine that you’re gay!” she followed that up with a song lecturing a boy who cheated on her named sam. fast forward five years and she’s now got songs that everyone knows that are about every boyfriend she’s had.

there’s nothing wrong with being known for writing songs about relationships, breakups, and growing up. it would be totally hypocritical of me to knock any of those things as being wrong considering this entire blog was started on those three things.

however, taylor’s gospel says that if someone hurts you, it’s okay to respond with words or actions that are subliminally aimed at them. it’s okay to air private information about what someone did in an effort to cut them just as deeply as they cut you.

in an effort to work through her emotions and get over the pain in her life, taylor swift has started a trend that has led to subtweeting and revenge porn.

now, before i go any further, i want to make it clear that this isn’t just a taylor swift thing. she’s not the only one that is to blame for this phenomenon. she just happens to be the face of it. we are at a point now where revenge porn lawsuits are reaching the supreme court of california. subtweeting has reached a level where deep, personal friendships have been ended because of things that were tweeted. it’s not abnormal to see groups of friends join “team jennifer” or “team olivia” because of a subtweeting battle that’s broken out between two people.

we have become a society that says things and hits send without stopping to think of the consequences. we act out of emotion and pain. we respond with no regard for how someone else may be impacted by what we are doing.

in the fall of 2008, right when taylor swift was hitting pop radio, i was recovering from a break up. we tried to do the thing where we remained friends even though it was pointless and impossible. at the same time, i was leading a club at liberty called the lunatics that went to every football and basketball game and led the student section. my ex was a part of that club.

that fall, after our breakup, she recruited some of her friends to join the group. just as with any breakup, friends of the two people who break up are forced to join sides. the friends that joined my side ended up not liking her or the ones on her side. totally immature, right? it gets worse.

because my friends and i were leading the club, we knew that we couldn’t openly talk about my ex or her friends. thinking we were being clever, we came up with a name for her entire friend group: peter. we’d openly ask if peter was coming to a game. or we’d say things about peter that were simply mean. it was my way of coping. she had hurt me to the core of who i was so in an effort to make myself feel better, i was going to bring her down in any way that i could.

i was a disciple of the gospel of taylor swift.

years later i apologized for the things i said. i didn’t have to go into details because she knew. everyone always knows. that’s the thing. we say things or do things passive aggressively to try and keep people from realizing what we are doing but anyone with half a brain knows exactly what, and most times who, we’re talking about.

what would happen if we rejected taylor’s gospel of hurtful words?

what would happen if, instead of revenge, we sought forgiveness and healing?

what would happen if, instead of hurtful words, we only said words that were helpful and encouraging?

i know that life is happy, free, confusing, and lonely at the same time. i know that it’s miserable and magical. that’s the issue though. we spend more time focusing on the confusing, lonely, and miserable times. we don’t focus on the happy, free, and magical. the words we say and actions we do in the confusing, lonely, and miserable times cause scars bigger than any happy, free, and magical moment could ever cover up.

words hurt.

actions have consequences.

we can’t become a people who never acknowledge our pain and our hurt, but we must become a people who learn to process it and deal with it in the right ways. we cannot be people that, just because we’re hurt or unhappy, go out to hurt others and make them unhappy.

this starts inside of us. we have to learn how to process our pain. we must learn how to deal with things when they don’t go our way. the beauty of the gospel of jesus is that even though he knows we’re going to be hurt, that things will be hard, and that we will run into things that we never saw coming, he promises us that he has already overcome it all and is there to lead us through it.

the girl who writes the songs ripping everyone that has ever hurt her isn’t happy. she has tons of money and more influence than she knows what to do with it, but if you read between the lines of her other songs, those hurtful words didn’t fill her up. they didn’t replace the void left by the boy who caused the pain. she’s still searching for the things that can fill that void. that void is only filled through the gospel of jesus. it doesn’t mean that pain and hard times will never appear, but it does promise that you will have help to get through them.

to change the world, we have to be people who encourage it. we have to be people that say even though everything around us sucks and nothing good has happened in six months, we’re still going to choose to be positive. we’re going to process our pain instead of projecting it. we’re going to encourage instead of degrade. we’re going to build up instead of tear down.

everything that we say, tweet, and do is either a gift or poison.

gifts bring joy.

poison kills.

don’t be a murderer.

say your prayers and take your vitamins.

have a nice day.

-jonathan

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