According to the BBC, this guy is going to be the Sound of 2014:
Some interesting lyrics there.
“I wanna see heaven”
“I’m not foolish”
“I don’t have money on my mind”
I’m reminded of a parable Jesus told, which is recorded in the Bible in Luke’s Gospel, Chapter 16, verses 1-13.
Sam Smith says he wants to see heaven, and he’s not foolish.
Jesus tells a story about a man who is commended for his shrewdness because he made sure he would be looked after when he lost his job. This is an illustration of the wisdom of ensuring you’re going to go to heaven when your current life ends.
And some might find this surprising, but Jesus says that your attitude to money is very significant in determining whether you will “see heaven”.
He says that if you’re unfaithful with the material wealth you have in this life, God’s not going to entrust you with eternal wealth in heaven (v11).
And being faithful with your money means you use it to honour God and serve others, rather than being controlled by the desire to gain money for yourself.
I like that Sam says he doesn’t have money on his mind, because pretty much our whole society seems to be built around greed. We’re surrounded by adverts trying to convince us we need posh new gadgets, and our MPs and media are obsessed with perpetual economic growth (if we’re not constantly spending more and more money and consuming more and more stuff, then apparently our country is failing). We make material wealth into what the Bible calls an idol, and the effort we put into earning the money for new gadgets and ever-increasing consumption is our service to that idol. If we’re not careful we find ourselves spending most of our time working to get more money; money becomes our master.
Jesus tells us in Luke 16v13 that we can’t worship God if we’re mastered by money. We have to choose one master.
Either we can serve God, who promises to show “the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness towards us” for eternity (that’s from Ephesians 2v7), or we can serve money, which will never really satisfy us in this life, and which we can’t take with us when we die. Which master do you serve?
Sam goes on to say:
“I do it for the love”.
This reminds me of what the apostle Paul said about our motivation for doing good deeds in 1 Corinthians 13v3.
I said above that we should use our money to serve others, but Paul says “If I give away all I have… but have not love, I gain nothing.”
So we can do things that look good from the outside, but if we’re not “doing them for the love”, they’re not really good.
God sets us the ultimate example of “doing it for the love”.
In 1 John 4v8-9, we’re told that “God is love”, and that one of the ways God manifested this love toward us was that he “sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him”.
We’re also told in Hebrews 12v2 that Jesus’ motivation for “enduring the cross” (so that we might live through him) was “for the joy that was set before him”.
God the Father, and Jesus, his Son, demonstrated love by giving up something themselves because they considered it a joy to do something for the good of others.
I’m not sure that’s what Sam Smith had in mind by “doing it for the love”. He probably just meant he enjoys making music, but when we’ve been on the receiving end of God’s love, we want to share it with others, because we want to honour the God who gave so much for us, and because we want to experience the joy of serving others ourselves. We want to “do it for the love”.
If you liked this post, you’ll probably like my friend’s blog: Redeeming Sound.