Live Like We're...

An Essay By Anna // 7/13/2011

Until he showed up at the ALIVE music festival this summer, I thought Kris Allen wrote only generic, sappy-but-clean girlfriend&breakup songs. I figured that any Christian with a strong witness probably wouldn’t have won American Idol.
I judge people on very little information, and yes, that’s a flaw, even if I justify it with James 4:4 and passages like it. In Kris Allen’s case, I have to make a lukewarm exception for “Live Like We’re Dying.”
Yeah, we gotta start
Looking at the hands of the time we've been given
If this is all we got and we gotta start thinking
If every second counts on a clock that's ticking
Gotta live like we're dying

We only got 86,400 seconds in a day to
Turn it all around or to throw it all away
We gotta tell them that we love them
While we got the chance to say
Gotta live like we're dying
But the wheels in my head have been turning since I heard that song, and after a few weeks, they’ve ground something out. There are two realities in our world. My grandfather calls the physical the little r reality; the spiritual is the big R reality.
In a very literal sense, our bodies are dying or could die any day, which is more or less the point of “Live Like We’re Dying.” In the big R reality, the Bible talks about death and sin in the same breath. Ephesians 2:1-3 clearly says that, before the work of Christ, we “were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air”.
Romans 5:12-21 also starts with sin and death, but it ends in a different way: “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses… For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.”
Reign in life. That’s significant to the way a Christian should live. Romans 6:9-11 goes so far as to say that, in the spiritual Reality, followers of Jesus never die, just as He will never die again (“We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus”).
We should live like we’re the only ones living.
If I knew I had six months to live, would that call me out to fight? Honestly, I’d try to book a trip around the world first. (Granted, I’d probably do some soul-searching, but I doubt I’d be more motivated to share the Gospel. Sadly.)
But imagine you live in a kingdom attacked by a disease. You don’t just contract it and need a healer; you die of it.
Everyone dies of it. No survivors, just corpses.
Then the king dies of it, resurrects, and brings you out of the grave with him.
Now you’re alive, and how are you going to live? Like you’re dying amongst the corpses of your people?
What if the king asks you to bring him to the bodies so he can breathe life into them before they rot away?
You’re going to live like you and the king are the only ones living. So are the other people he brings to life. Corpses still outnumber miracles, because this plague murdered your whole world, even affecting the landscape. Only once the king brings all his people to life will he restore the kingdom.
Live like we’re the only ones living. That is the spiritual Reality. The disease of sin spiritually kills every human to be born, and after they physically die, all hope of healing is gone. But King Jesus did take on the sin, and only He can bring you and me and everyone we meet to spiritual life. (By the way, they can’t respond to it themselves. You shine a light in a corpse’s face and it still can’t reach out. The King doesn’t wait for that, thank Him.)
So this is my nitpick with “Live Like We’re Dying.” It’s an okay song. Pit against his love songs in a fight, and of course it wins.
But if Round Two is against another Call to Live song, its punches go limp. It mentions God even less than “We Live” by Superchic[k], where the sum total is the mention of a cross and life being “a gift from above.”
“Proof of Your Love” by For King and Country breaks the jaw of “Live Like We’re Dying.” “The Time is Now” by Phil Wickham decks it and, to quote Robert Downey Jr.’s Sherlock Holmes: “Psychological recovery? Six months.”
Because, though Kris Allen’s song is true in a measure, as the call to step up and fight that it’s meant to be, it doesn’t go far.
Life isn’t possible without God and is only worth it because of Jesus.
Time is running out. But why? Mostly, not because we’re dying.

“He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!”
Revelation 22:20
All Scripture taken from the ESV.

I apologize if I step on any musical toes.


Excellent essay, Anna. You're

Excellent essay, Anna. You're a talented thinker. Keep refining that skill and always concentrate on keeping it in line with God's Word. I love watching you progress : )

Mary | Wed, 07/13/2011

Brother: Your character should drive a motorcycle.
Me: He can't. He's in the wilderness.
Brother: Then make it a four-wheel-drive motorcycle!

Thank you very

Thank you very much, Mary! I'm trying to write more analytical pieces and integrate that into my stories, but I don't feel I'm very good at it, so your comment encouraged me.

Anna | Thu, 07/14/2011

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief


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