Being successful + serving God, or being successful vs. serving God - pt. 1

I've often wondered how it must feel to be a successful Christian recording and touring artist whilst having to deal with the worldly aspects of that life such as marketing, profit margins, contracts, image, media communications, etc... It must be a really delicate balancing act to not let success go to your head when it comes, to keep the focus on the Lord and yet do your best to get your material out there because you believe that God wants you to touch people's hearts and souls through your songs and performances/recordings.

I know that one of my all-time favourite bands, Switchfoot, constantly struggle with this tension. Just listen to their last 3 or 4 albums for numerous examples. Jon Foreman's - and the other band members' - lyrics seem to be a way of working through for themselves the tensions inherent in their career/ministry, calling on themselves to keep the focus on what is right and true, above all on love... love of God, love of their fellow human beings. The fact that they do this in the public eye gives us an example that we can relate to and be inspired by.

Here's a Valentine's Day message Jon sent out. It says in other words what I myself said in my New Year's Resolution post:

Love alone is worth the fight, Love is the movement, Your love is a song, Your love is strong

I have written more songs about love than any other subject. And I'm not alone with my fascination: true love is a stunning sight to see. The highest forms of love take on a sacrificial nature, putting others' needs before my own. A love like this changes the world.

In turbulent times like these I remember heroes who choose love over reactionary impulses like hatred or fear. So this Valentine's Day, maybe we can dig deeper than just exchanging flowers and chocolates. Maybe we could reach out to someone and show them this deeper kind of love. Give up your time, share a smile, lend an ear, give a cup of coffee, or visit an old folks home.

And Happy Valentine's Day!
-Jon


The title of their latest album, "Where The Light Shines Through" comes from the song of the same name. The full line is 

"The wound is where the light shines through."

I love how this band do not hide from their own frailties as people but lay them out in a most vulnerable, honest manner for their listeners to relate to and resonate with. That's certainly my experience when I listen to their songs.

Just look at the video I posted the other day of them performing live "I Won't Let You Go". Here it is again:



When singing live Jon's voice is one that gives me frissons. It's his. He's not trying to sing like an American Idol clone. It's a fragile, broken voice with technical limitations, but he accepts those limitations and works with them to produce something intensely human and touching as he sings words that he imagines to come from our Lord, telling us He will never let us go... There is something profoundly moving in hearing God in his perfection sing to me through a broken, imperfect voice.

It's simply beautiful and it tears my heart in two... in a good way, because the wound is where the light shines through!!


I Won’t Let You Go
When it feels like surgery
And it burns like third degree
And you wonder what is it worth?
When your insides breaking in
And you feel that ache again
And you wonder
What's giving birth?
If you could let the pain of the past go
Of your soul
None of this is in your control
If you could only let your guard down
You could learn to trust me somehow
I swear, that I won't let you go
If you could only let go your doubts
If you could just believe in me now
I swear, that I won't let you go
I won’t let you go
When your fear is currency
And you feel that urgency
You want peace but there's war in your head
Maybe that's where life is born
When our façades are torn
Pain gives birth to the promise ahead
If you could let the pain of the past go
Of your soul
None of this is in your control
If you could only let your guard down
If you could learn to trust me somehow
I swear, that I won't let you go
If you could only let go your doubts
If you could just believe in me now
I swear, that I won't let you go
I won’t let you go
I'll always be by your side
Yeah
If you could only let your guard down
If you could learn to trust me somehow
I swear, that I won't let you go
If you could only let go your doubts
If you could just believe in me now
I swear, that I won't let you go
I won’t let you go
(I won’t let you go)
There ain't no darkness strong enough that could tear you out from my heart
There ain't no strength that's strong enough that could tear this love apart
Never gonna let you go
Never gonna let you go
No I won’t let you go
Songwriters: Jonathan Mark Foreman / Timothy David Foreman
I Won’t Let You Go lyrics © Peermusic Publishing, The Bicycle Music Company
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