DiM | “Who I Am” by Blanca

Today is “Discernment in Music” (DiM) day here at Faithful Stewardship (2 Corinthians 10:4-6 (ESV)).

May 19, 2015. Today we’ll be taking a look at “Who I Am” by Blanca which currently sits at #15 at 20theCountdownMagazine.

We’ll continue using this top 20 song list until I find a better list. Your feedback in this would be greatly appreciated.

I hadn’t planned on reviewing this song for this week, because I was certain that we’d be looking at a song from NeedtoBreathe. However, with this week’s chart update, Bianca’s song came out above the other song, so it will have to wait. Let’s begin today with an Air1 interview of Blanca to see what the meaning behind the song might be:

Behind the Music

Well, that wasn’t very encouraging. Empowerment is clearly the theme. This is about giving yourself a pep talk to do what you want to do without fear. Not a single reference to Scripture, not even a proof text. It comes from a place of empty sloganeering, “when I know whose I am, I know who I am”… /sigh. I hear this sort of emotional elevation of self all of the time whenever I watch contestants on the Voice, America’s Got Talent, and American Idol wax eloquent about their “struggle to overcome doubt and to believe in themselves” to get onto the show. The frustrating thing about this interview is that there doesn’t even seem to be an attempt to point to God, the artist is perfectly comfortable taking a moment to talk about herself, her emotions, her “struggle” to write this first song. Why is that? Because Air1 isn’t expecting that sort of answer, and popular evangelicalism no longer requires it. Let’s move on to the song and its lyrics.

Official Audio (Static Album Cover)

Lyrics (via Air1)

Blanca – Who I Am Lyrics

Another voice, another choice
To listen to words somebody said
Another day
I replay
One too many doubts inside my head

Am I strong
Beautiful
Am I good enough
Do I belong
After all
That I’ve said and done
Is it real
When I feel
I don’t measure up
Am I loved

CHORUS
I’m running to the One who knows me
Who made every part of me in His hands
I’m holding to the One who holds me
‘Cause I know whose I am, I know who I am

I am sure I am Yours

Turning down
Tuning out
Every single word
That caused me pain
Unashamed
And unafraid
‘Cause I believe You mean it when You say

I am strong
Beautiful
I am good enough
I belong
After all
‘Cause of what You’ve done
This is real
What I feel
No one made it up
I am loved

CHORUS

I am sure I am Yours
I know who I am
I am sure I am Yours

Fearfully
Wonderfully
Perfectly
You have made me

I’m running to the One who knows me
I’m holding to the One who holds me

CHORUS

I am sure I am Yours
And I know who I am

Publishing: © 2015 Dayspring Music LLC / Group 1 Crew Music Publishing (BMI)(All rights Adm. by Dayspring Music, LLC)/ CentricSongs, 2 Hour Songs (SESAC) (Adm. by Music Services) / Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Upside Down Under (BMI) (All rights on behalf of itself and Upside Down Under adm. by Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC) Produced by Seth Mosley
Writer(s): Blanca Callahan / Seth Mosley / Mia Fieldes

Discussion

Who is the intended audience for this song, believers or unbelievers? We’re going to continue our review assuming the intended audience is believers because there is no Law or Gospel to be found in the song. None. So if this song is intended for believers, what is the message to the believer? Well, let’s work through the lyrics.

The song begins with doubts and questions in the first verse. What are the doubts in the singer’s head?

  1. Am I strong?
  2. (Am I) Beautiful?
  3. Am I good enough?
  4. Do I belong, After all, That I’ve said and done?
  5. Is it real, When I feel, I don’t measure up?
  6. Am I loved?

The song then answers these questions by simply rephrasing the questions into declarative statements.

  1. I am strong
  2. (I am) Beautiful
  3. I am good enough
  4. I belong, After all, ‘Cause of what You’ve done
  5. This is real, What I feel, No one made it up
  6. I am loved

So what changed? Who is the “You” in the 4th answer and what did “You” do? How does the 5th answer resolve its question? Let’s look at the chorus to see if it clarifies anything

I’m running to the One who knows me
Who made every part of me in His hands
I’m holding to the One who holds me
‘Cause I know whose I am, I know who I am
I am sure I am Yours

Is this the Gospel? That God knows us and He made us? No. It is true that He made us and knows us, but that doesn’t make it Gospel. How does the singer know for sure that she is God’s? She doesn’t share that in this song. Later, in the bridge, there is a reference to being fearfully and wonderfully (and perfectly?) made by God. So what is the message of this song?

I am exactly what God made me to be, He loves me as I am, the only thing about me that needs to change is how I talk about myself in my head.

What a tragic message, even for Christians.

The Call to Repent is for the Christian, too

There is a misconception in modern-day evangelicalism that anything that feels negative is of the devil and all things positive are godly. Discipline is negative, but necessary for godliness. Repentance is a turning away from sin, going the opposite direction from what your fleshly desires and temptations are leading you. In the moment, it feels very negative. That Law of God convicts us of our sin and kills our flesh. Let’s look at how the Apostle Paul explains this dynamic in Romans 7:

Romans 7:7-24 (ESV) | The Law and Sin
7 What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead. 9 I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died.10 The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. 11 For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me.12 So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. 13 Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure. 14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. 15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

Paul makes clear “who I am”, even as Christians, we are wretched and sinful. Our flesh is sinful. By faith, we have joined in Christ’s death in baptism and in His resurrection to new life (Romans 6). We have been sealed by the Holy Spirit for the day of Resurrection, when we will at-last put off this mortal flesh of sin and be given new bodies in the Kingdom of Heaven. Until that great and glorious day, by faith we must repent of our sins daily and crucify our flesh and walk in the Spirit of the Living God. We walk in the already and the not yet. We Christians walk on this earth simultaneously sinners (by flesh) and justified (by faith in Christ).

Romans 8:1-4 (ESV) | Life in the Spirit
1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Galatians 5:16-26 (ESV) | Keep in Step with the Spirit
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

Having been reminded of the who we are and who Christ is and the centrality of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, let us revisit the questions posed in this song, and give real answers to them.

  1. Am I strong?
    No child, you are weak in the flesh. Christ is our only strength, look to Him, not yourself.

    2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (ESV) 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
  2. (Am I) Beautiful?
    By what measure? Set your heart and mind on things above.

    1 Peter 3:3-4 (ESV) 3 Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— 4 but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.
    Romans 10:14-15 (ESV) 14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
  3. Am I good enough?
    No, you aren’t. There has only ever been One who is good enough, and He laid down His life on the cross, so that by His Blood, you might be saved.Romans 3:21-26 (ESV) | The Righteousness of God Through Faith
    21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
  4. Do I belong, After all, That I’ve said and done?
    If your place in the Kingdom of God, in the Body of Christ, were dependent upon what you’ve said and done, you wouldn’t belong, no. Praise be to Our God and Father that it isn’t about what we’ve said and done, but upon Christ’s finished work on the cross. Now humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, and repent of your sins and be forgiven, in Jesus’ Name.1 John 1:8-9 (ESV) 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
  5. Is it real, When I feel, I don’t measure up?
    Our hope is not in what we see or feel; rather, it is by faith that we hold onto the promise of forgiveness and eternal life in Jesus Christ Our Lord. Of your own, you don’t measure up; however, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ by faith.Ephesians 2:8-10 (ESV) 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
  6. Am I loved?
    Absolutely. Your are loved. God loved you even when you were dead in your sins and trespasses, so much so, in fact that He gave His Only Begotten Son so that you might have eternal life.John 3:16-18 (ESV) | For God So Loved the World
    16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

The song doesn’t share the gospel, not for the unbeliever nor for the believer. Some readers might argue that “running to the one who knows me” is code for repentance. While I disagree with that notion, if that is truly what you think when you hear the line, then God bless you for having the proper response to this song. My concern is for those less grounded in their faith to have a better footing in the Word of God.

In the end, I cannot endorse this song fully. It is my prayer that at least whenever the song plays on the radio, your mind will focus on the Truth of God’s word rather than on empty “empowerment”.

Hebrews 13:20-21 (ESV) | Benediction

20 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus,the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Amen, Indeed.
In Christ Jesus,
Jorge

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s