March 15, 2013
READ: Philippians 3:1-11
We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort, though I could have confidence in my own effort if anyone could (vv.3-4).
As my family was leaving the park after a fun day at Disney, the loudspeakers were playing a happy song with the chorus, “In everything you do, celebrate you!” The song reminded me of the earlier parade that encouraged us to celebrate our dreams, “whatever they are”. My 12 year old son, the apparent cynic in the family, proclaimed that his dream was to take over the world. Should that be celebrated? My dream was for free refills, but that was dashed too.
Disney seems to be selling smiles and self-esteem. This makes good business sense, as no one would hang out in a place that berated them for their shortcomings. Disney has amazing amusement parks, and the quickest way to amuse people is to play catchy songs that tells them they’re great.
I understand that, but it’s still important to spell out the message of Disney to see how it stacks up against the gospel. Those who unreflectively hum the world’s songs are most likely to be influenced by them.
The Disney gospel encourages narcissism. It suggests that our main problem is that we don’t celebrate ourselves enough, so others don’t realise how special we are. This positive message is actually cruel, for the poor fellow who follows their advice—“In everything you do, celebrate you!”—won’t be married long. And he won’t have many friends.
The apostle Paul offered a far better gospel. He confessed that he was a sinner; so despite his strong reasons to feel superior, all his accomplishments were “worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:8). The truth is we are special, far more than a Disney song can tell. It’s because we belong to Jesus. So in everything you do, celebrate Him. —Mike Wittmer
Ruth 1:1-22 ‹
Read Colossians 3:12-25 to learn how we should live “in everything we do”.
Why is it important to consider the words of your favourite songs? What lyrics have subtly influenced your mind and heart?