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How to Share Your Faith Using Linkin Park’s What I've Done

What I've Done, Linkin Park's new lead single from their Minutes to Midnight album, recently hit the Number 1 slot on Billboard’s Modern Rock and Mainstream Rock charts. What I've Done is a thought-provoking, reflective music video, drawing attention to a wide range of social issues that we’ll be confronting for decades to come. The music video dramatizes issues ranging from war and terrorism to famine and pollution. Add in the clips of racism, addiction, obesity and environmental concerns, and you have a catalogue of many of the key areas in which society has 'missed the mark' and failed to do the right thing.

Sound depressing? Actually, the song's lyrics present a very different picture from the haunting images that make up much of this music video. The lyrics focus on acknowledging the mistakes, facing the problems, 'fessing up, seeking forgiveness, letting go and moving on.

Check out these lyrics:

So let mercy come,
And wash away...
What I've Done.
I'll face myself,
To cross out what I've become.
Erase myself,
And let go of what I've done...

I'll start again,
And whatever pain may come.
Today this ends,
I'm forgiving what I've done.

Everyone's life holds mistakes, regrets, major mess-ups, sin...whatever tag you want to label it with. But in the end, the Bible's terminology is on target - the Bible calls it 'missing the mark'. And whether you view this song from a societal level or a personal level, it speaks to the ugly consequences that result when we mess-up.

Our human response to 'missing the mark' can include a whole range of reactions: denial, excuses, anger, guilt, withdrawal or depression. And even if we take the right steps, seek forgiveness from those we've hurt and strive to make amends, we can still struggle to 'forgive ourselves'. That's what makes Jesus' gift of forgiveness so radical and life changing! When the lyrics to the song cry out "Let mercy come, and wash away, what I've done," they capture the essense of Jesus' salvation message and describe the gift of forgiveness He offers to all who are willing to accept it. Jesus is the answer to the cry for mercy and for new beginnings!!

The Apostle Paul describes it this way in Romans 8:1-4:

With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ's being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death. God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn't deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. (The Message)

So use this song to talk about Jesus and His incredible free gift of forgiveness with your friends! You might try some of these conversation starters:

• Which emotions does this music video stir up in you? Fear of the future? Depression? Forgiveness? Encouragment? New beginnings? Hope? Share how your relationship with God has helped you as you deal with those same types of emotions in everyday life.
• Ask your friends if they have a particular response when they mess-up. Denial, excuses, anger, guilt, withdrawal,depression? Share what Jesus' gift of forgiveness has meant in your life.
• What do you think of when you hear the lines from the song that say "Let mercy come, and wash away, what I've done"? Share the Christian view of God's mercy and how Jesus washes away our sins.

What I've Done provides a natural bridge for bringing God's mercy and forgiveness up in your conversations. So let mercy come, and wash away, what I've done...



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