Look what you made me do
Taylor Swift's new song could have been copied and pasted from the first pages of the Bible.
“Look what you made me do, Look what you made me do, Look what you just made me do, Look what you made me do”
Taylor Swift’s newest record breaking release is a far cry from the country/pop star’s roots. We’ve moved a long way from belting out “Love Story” or “You Belong With Me” in our pyjamas on a Saturday night. Not only is Taylor’s newest single breathier, sexier, and more risqué, but it mirrors humanity's response to God in some of the opening chapters of the bible.
The opening single to the stars album Reputation has broken some records, played 43.2 million times in its first 24 hours, the biggest debut for any video. Number one on iTunes, Look What You Made Me Do was the biggest streaming day for a single track EVER in Spotify history. Even the lyric video posted when the song initially dropped broke previous records for most watched video within 24 hours of it’s release, with 19 million views.
In its first 24 hours on the youtube, Look What You Made Me Do, was played an average of 30,000 times per minute
Taylor’s stunning success with this newest track probably has a lot to do with the recent drama surrounding herself and the Kardashians, as well as the star’s immense fame, but it also - if we are honest - resonates with an impulse which exists within all humans.
The anthem “look what you made me do!” reeks of deferred gratification. It’s a phrase that belongs on the lips of bullies of the “why are you hitting yourself?” variety. It reminds us of older siblings convincing our younger sisters that it was their own fault they got hurt. On a darker level, it speaks of abusive or manipulative relationships.
But the cry “look what you made me do” belongs to the lips of someone very different.
“It was the Serpent!” Taylor’s cry is Adam’s cry too
In the opening pages of the bible, humanity represented by Adam and Eve declare autonomy against God. They eat the fruit and hide in the bushes from their loving creator and Father. When God finds them, his creatures are unable or unwilling to take responsibility for the broken relationship.
When asked what has happened, Adam is quick to defer the blame: “The woman you gave to be with me - she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate”. Similarly, Eve answers “It was the serpent, He deceived me, and I ate”. *
Their own actions are pushed to the side in their eagerness to blame each other, and ultimately God. Instead of recognising what they have done, Adam and Eve twist it back into blaming their creator. They might as well be Taylor Swift, crooning about the role they have been forced to play on a tilted stage.
But that’s the thing. Adam and Eve - and Taylor Swift for that matter - weren’t given an unfair lot. God was not setting them up to fail, they weren’t tricked and they certainly aren’t victims. Adam and Eve chose to rebel against God. They chose to break relationship themselves.
Ultimately, the bible has more hope then Look What You Made Me Do. While Taylor ends by singing about the death of “the old Taylor”, God acts to rescue us. By sending his son, he provided a sacrifice, a perfect human who lived a perfect life in our place. Through Jesus, we are able to stop hiding from the sin in our lives, and instead come into perfect relationship with God.
Is it your cry?
Do you catch yourself in your heart of hearts thinking God is at fault for your sin? Are you tempted to point to external circumstances as an attempt to justify lying, or going to far physically with your boyfriend?
"It was the serpent!” “It’s because I had a bad week” “God hasn’t provided me with any Christian friends!”
The bible shows us what our true response to God should be in a song of a different type:
Be gracious to me God,
According to Your faithful love;
According to Your abundant compassion,
Blot our my rebellion.
Wash away my guilt and cleanse me from sin.
For I am conscious of my rebellion,
And my sin is always before me - Psalm 51:1-3
Rather than denying our actions or responsibility, the bible tells us to recognise our sin but ask God to cleanse us from it. It is only by Gods love, grace and compassion that we are able to have that perfect relationship with God.
*HSCB Genesis 3