Lauren Daigle’s song, “You Say”, has now been number one on the Christian billboard for the past 100 plus weeks, almost two years. No song has ever done this on the Christian billboard.
You can read about the song in this article here: https://www.christianpost.com/news/lauren-daigles-you-say-becomes-first-to-run-100-weeks-at-no-1-on-billboard-hot-songs-chart.html
By definition, a Christian song is music that has been written to express either personal or a communal belief regarding Christian life and faith. Common themes of Christian music include praise, worship, penitence, and lament, and its forms vary widely across the world.
As the number one Christian song in America for the past almost two years, it never mentions Jesus.
So, how do we know if “You Say” is a Christian song?
As a Christian and pastor who listens to Christian music, I wanted to write an article to unpack the song and talk about the lyrics. I used to do this when I was a student pastor in Texas many years ago.
Back then, I would use popular secular songs that my students were listening to, in order to help them unpack the meaning of the song and how it impacted their world view and their view of God and the Bible.
I would like to do the same with Lauren’s song, “You Say”.
I realize, like I did many years ago with my students, that most people do not actually pay attention to the lyrics or consider what the point or intention of the song is. We tend to listen more for how it sounds and how it makes us feel.
Before, we dive into the song, I think it is important to hear from the author and what she meant by the song, since she wrote it, she knows what she meant by it.
“This song for me was just a reminder of identity. It was a reminder that when I’m weak He is strong. So how do I change that and bring that into my everyday life? When I feel inadequate how is it that there’s always these moments where I feel like God just steps in and supersedes my inadequacies. This entire song was so that every single night I would get up on stage and remind myself that this is the truth. Don’t get buried in confusion, in the waywardness just remember to stay the course.” – Lauren Daigle
From Lauren’s analysis of her own song, she intends for the song to be directed toward God and it speaks to truth. I am assuming she means the truth of the Bible about God, i.e. Christ Jesus.
The song begins…
I keep fighting voices in my mind that say I’m not enough
I think every human begin and every Christian can relate to these voices.
I know I do.
We all fight the voices. I think we all agree on this.
But how we fight them, might be different.
The next line tells us how Lauren suggests we fight them.
Every single lie that tells me I will never measure up
Actually, it is not a lie that you will never measure up. It is actually true.
From God’s perspective, you and I can never measure up to His standard of what He is looking for in our lives. We see this in various Scriptures.
“All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all.” -Isaiah 53:6
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” -Romans 3:23 23
“As the Scriptures say, “No one is righteous— not even one.” -Romans 3:10
The Bible says we are not adequate for the righteous journey God expects from our lives.
” It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God.” -2 Corinthians 3:5
This is why Jesus came. He came to die so we don’t have to measure up. He did it for us. Look at what Paul says to the Corinthians.
“For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” -2 Corinthians 5:21
The Bible tells us it isn’t a lie that we don’t measure up. Matter a fact, the Bible tells us we don’t have to measure up, because Jesus did that for us. My encouragement is that you stop fighting the voices and agree with them and tell the voices, your Savior doesn’t need you to measure up, HE already did that for us.
The song continues…
Am I more than just the sum of every high and every low?
Remind me once again just who I am, because I need to know, ooh oh
As followers of Jesus Christ, we don’t need to be reminded of who we are. We are good at that already. We need to be reminded of who Jesus is and we need to be reminded what He has already done for us. That is what makes the difference in our lives. I can’t find anywhere in the Bible where someone prays and asks God to remind them of who they are.
As a matter of fact, it is just the opposite.
We remember who we are so we can focus on who Jesus is.
The Psalmist, who was a songwriter modeled this.
We talk to God to search us, so that He can reveal to us, how we don’t reflect Him, so He can reflect to us who we can be in Him.
We give up leaning on ourselves and trust in who He is.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding (of yourself).6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” -Proverbs 3:5
Having God remind us who we are does not help us, if we do not then allow what He reveals to us to lead us to who He is and how we need Him.
Lauren then describes what God reveals to her.
You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
And You say I am held when I am falling short
And when I don’t belong, oh, You say I am Yours
And I believe (I), oh, I believe (I)
What You say of me (I)
This section of the song is consistent to Scripture. These are very real experiences that we all have and need God to remind us who He has made us to be. We all have times we don’t feel loved when God certainly loves us. We all have times we feel weak when God makes us strong. We all have times we fall short and God draws us near to Himself. These are essential experiences of the Christian walk with Jesus. It is important that we believe who God says we are. When God tells us who we are, our response dictates our mindset and focus.
In Lauren’s song she then turns her attention to giving God the glory for what He has done in her life.
The only thing that matters now is everything You think of me
In You I find my worth, in You I find my identity, ooh oh
Taking all I have and now I’m layin’ it at Your feet
This is extremely consistent to Scripture.
“The twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will, they existed and were created.” -Revelation 4:10
“And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.” -Hebrews 9:27
Lauren focuses on this in the closing lyrics of the song.
You’ll have every failure God, You’ll have every victory, ooh oh.
The song ends focused on God. It shows that He receives our every failure and our every victory.
This is a statement of God’s Sovereign power and grace over our lives. It is a foreshadowing that all of us will experience a judgment from God for our lives. He will have every failure. He will have every victory. It is all God’s. He is sovereign over everything and everyone.
The Apostle Paul makes this clear in Romans 9.
“What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion,[b] but on God, who has mercy.17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.” -Romans 9:14
I wish the song mentioned Jesus and focused on how He changes us through who He is more than us remembering who we are, but at the end of the day, the song turns our attention to God and places the sovereign control of our lives and actions at His feet, His control, His final say and judgment of our lives.
I agree this is a Christian song, and I pray God uses it to love more and more people into a real relationship with Jesus Christ.
What we do for God matters, and in the end, it is all that matters.