Finding God on Your iPod: Kings of Leon and the Beautiful War

On Sunday we opened up our series looking at “Finding God on your iPod”. We began by discussing some of the different ways our culture views love.

There is the “Jerry Maguire” view. This is where we seek and find people who “complete us”. People who make up for our flaws and failures and make us feel whole and wonderful. The trouble with this view is that it’s ultimately self-centred. It’s about what someone else does for us (completes us).

The second view we looked at was what is called the Disney view. That when you meet the right person, you just live easy and breezy happily ever after. Johnathon Haidt says this about this type of love:

The modern myth of true love involves these beliefs: true love is passionate love that never fades; if you are in true love, you should marry that person; if love ends, you should leave that person because it was not true love; and if you can find the right person you will have true love forever.

And this too just isn’t true and not helpful.

The last view of love we looked at is what I called, Passive Love. This is the idea where it’s loving to let people do whatever they want, as long as they don’t hurt anyone. But again this is just selfishness clouded in love language.

That’s when we turned to Kings of Leon to give us a different view of love. We played the song Beautiful War, which has this wonderful little line:

            Love don’t mean nothing Unless there’s something worth fighting for. It’s a beautiful war.

And this line is just so true. And this view is actually right in line with the Biblical view of love that we looked at next. We looked at love as sacrifice, as fighting for someone, as dying for someone in John 3.

John says the message we have heard from the beginning in verse 11 is to love one another. John then goes on to define love, to not leave it vague and culturally bound. He says love looks like Jesus dying. Real love is Jesus giving up his life for us. Love is shown by actions, and it’s shown by sacrifice. Or as Kings of Leon put it, it’s not love unless you’re fighting for someone or something. Love is about sacrifice.

This led us to our main point of the day: fight for those you love. But not fighting in aggressive ways. But in ways that look a lot like dying, like Jesus Christ.

Richard Rohr says, Every time you choose to love, you have also just chosen to die. And that’s true.

So we ended with a simple but hard challenge. To fight for those you love. To really show your love to your spouse, to your kids, to those friendships that matter. To decide to really give of yourself to those around you. Because love is meant to be shown, and it needs to be – if it’s real love.

Sermon Notes:

Big Idea: Fight for those you love.

Teaching Points:

  • Three types of love: You Complete Me, Disney, and Passive Love
  • Love don’t mean nothing, unless there is something worth fighting for. Kings of Leon
  • Love is the deepest truth…Love may cost you everything, but it is the only thing worth anything. Michael Gungor
  • Fight for those you love.
  • Love looks a lot like dying.
  • Every time you choose to love, you have also just chosen to die. Richard Rohr
  • Today we like to love until it hurts, Jesus says it’s not love unless it hurts.
  • Love is proved by deeds; the more they cost us, the greater the proof of our love. Mother Teresa.

Adult Discussion Questions:

What stuck out to you from the sermon? What was challenging to you? How did God speak to you through it? What was new? Have you ever fallen into the trap of thinking about love like Disney, Jerry Maguire, or Tolerance? Who once really sacrificed themselves for you and it really changed you? What did it look like – how did they do it? Who are you maybe being called to love? How might you show them? Who can help you?

Discussion Questions for Young Families

Talk to your kids how love needs to be shown. How it needs to be proven through actions. Talk to them about people in your life, who you love. Ask them how you should show them love, and then do it.

Challenge for the Week: Fight for those you love.

A Different Kind of Love

I heard a song today called “Beautiful War” by Kings of Leon. I really liked the song, and there was one line that really resonated with me. It’s this, “Love don’t mean nothing / Less there is something worth fighting for”.

The reason I really like this line is because so often love in our day and age seems like something sappy, and wishy washy. It seems like something fluid, and sometimes even passing. When I think of love though, yes there is emotion and passion to it, but there is also something solid. There is something deep. There is something more than just feelings, there is conviction and commitment.

And I think that’s why I really liked that line in that song, that love doesn’t mean a lot unless. It’s committed to something worth fighting for. This for me means that love is a commitment to fight for something, or someone. Love isn’t something or someone that you can easily give up on, or it’s really not love.

And when I think about love in this way, it makes me think of God. God gave up his place above us, to come to save us. He thought we were worth fighting for. He thought we were worth dying for. Sure there is emotion there, but it’s not a wishy washy love. It’s a committed, sacrificial, conviction that causes action.

So I guess that’s all to simply say that love for me runs deeper than just feelings. Of course true love comes with emotion, and passion but also one with a commitment to “something worth fighting for”. And I think this is the type of love that lasts, because it preserves, pushes forward, and refuses to give up (1 Cor. 13:7-8). This is the type of love that God shows to us, and that I think we need to seek to show others.1422732_38534421