[BEHIND THE LYRICS] ‘Shallow’

by Emily Medlock

Hey there, everyone! Welcome to another Behind the Lyrics.

This time, we’re trying something different. Instead of using a hot Christian song, we’re going to use a popular song with an originally secular meaning. But what we’re going to do is find the Christian meaning. I believe you can do this with many secular songs, but this one in particular really struck a chord with me.

The song is “Shallow” from the 2018 movie A Star is Born. Before we break down the lyrics, you may want to think about one question: What is shallow Christianity? Since there is a lot to go over, here’s a wonderful article on it.

Now, without further ado, here is “Shallow”:

Tell me somethin’, girl
Are you happy in this modern world?

Let’s call this our “shallow Christianity.” The modern-world is so fixated on things that don’t matter. The drama you see online (conjured by Christians no less) is so disheartening. It’s hard to not ignore it all, turn off your compassion switch, and live your life never delving deeper.

But our relationship with God will continue to nag at us. Are you really happy with the way you are living, the things you say, and what you focus on?

Or do you need more?
Is there somethin’ else you’re searchin’ for?

Most Christians are so thirsty for something more that they take comfort in things that give them momentary pleasure. It can be easy to replace God with alcohol, anger, or something else that make you feel temporarily good about yourself. When we begin to get overwhelmed with life, what or who do we turn to?

I’m falling
In all the good times I find myself
Longin’ for change
And in the bad times I fear myself

Good times? They’re never good enough, are they? If the good times are shallow, then how can we feel satisfied? And if we have nothing to hang onto through the bad times, how can we make it through them? Will we stick with what we know? Will we keep our eyes fixed on God, on love? Or will we fear ourselves and the destruction that will surely come if left to our own devices?

Tell me something, boy
Aren’t you tired tryin’ to fill that void?
Or do you need more?
Ain’t it hard keeping it so hardcore?

This is exactly what the absence of Christ is described as. A void. That’s because what we as Christians should be filled with is love. In the song, the love is a beautiful one like Hannah and Elkanah or Jacob and Rachel. But for us, it’s a love you can’t describe.

I’m off the deep end, watch as I dive in
I’ll never meet the ground
Crash through the surface, where they can’t hurt us
We’re far from the shallow now

Letting God fully into your heart and living each day to its fullest. Going to church every Sunday, ignoring your own faults, living your life going through the motions is not enough. What we need is to dive into love like a teenage romance. Let it begin as a passion, and let it grow into a love so pure, so deep that we wouldn’t dare swim to the surface.

For many, saying you have a passionate relationship with God may sound strange. But for those who actually have one, it’s the only way to describe the love we have been offered. Diving into a new love, or even an old one is scary. For those with a new one, we feel unsure, afraid, and have no idea what the future will hold. For those “rekindling” a marriage, we have to trust in the love, forgive of past hurts, and give ourselves to each other.

Our relationship with God is no different. But when we are overwhelmed with His love, that’s when we live as our true selves, and that love will overflow. Not in our shallow motions, but in our truly empathic connections with other human beings.

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