Thursday, March 10, 2011


Check out these lyrics.

I repent, I repent of my pursuit of America’s dream
I repent, I repent of living like I deserve anything
Of my house, my fence, my kids, my wife
In our suburb where we’re safe and white
I am wrong and of these things I repent

I repent, I repent of parading my liberty
I repent, I repent of paying for what I get for free
And for the way I believe that I am living right
By trading sins for others that are easier to hide
I am wrong and of these things I repent

I repent of judging by a law that even I can’t keep
Of wearing righteousness like a disguise
To see through the planks of my own eyes

I repent, I repent of trading truth for false unity
I repent, I repent of confusing peace and idolatry
By caring more of what they think than what I know of what we need
By domesticating you until you look just like me
I am wrong and of these things
I am wrong and of these things
Oh I am wrong and of these things I repent


But it's powerfully true.

Christians in this country have a real problem with diluting the radical calling of the Gospel with a felt entitlement to shallow happiness and security and comfort.

We feel as if we should never want for anything; that we should have a big house in a safe neighborhood, a great job, a perfect marriage, children whenever we want them, etc...   

It's been true in my life.  I can remember just a few years ago feeling gypped and angry because here I was, college educated, unable to find the perfect job - or even an imperfect but acceptable job.  Meanwhile, I stood oblivious to the hurt and pain and suffering all around me when I was working in food service.  A completely missed opportunity.

In City of God, Augustine tells us that "sin is to a nature what blindness is to an eye."  That was certainly the case in my life.

So here's the bottom line as I see it: the scarlet blood of Christ that runs rich in our lives turns pink when it's mixed with worship of comfort and sameness and material satisfaction.

I'm guilty of this, and in macrocosm, I'm not sure how to change it.
But repentance is a good place to start.


  1. Great song.

    I had a similar experience right out of college. I had just finished my undergrad, and I was frustrated that I had to work at Home Depot with a college degree.

    Nevermind the fact that I had a job during a recession...

  2. Whose lyrics? Thanks for posting this. And thanks for your writing!

  3. Hey Chuck. And yes, that probably would have been good information to provide.

    This song is called "I Repent" and it is written and performed by a contemporary singer named Derek Webb.

    The contemporary people at our church put together a fabulous and reflective Ash Wednesday service this year and included a video of this song after the sermon.