“Guy I Used To Be” by Lawrence – The Process of Conversion

“Guy I Used To Be” by Lawrence – The Process of Conversion May 23, 2024

"Goodbye, to the guy I used to be" - Lawrence, the band
“Goodbye, to the guy I used to be” – Lawrence (photo By Tookapic, modified by A. Laflamme)

Lawrence, the band, just put out a new song last month called “Guy I Used To Be”. If you haven’t heard this brother-sister duo sing with their group of best friends, then this song is a great introduction to their soulful, high-energy, musical talent. As they have been doing with several singles, they released the song followed by a creative live-ish version that shows off the real skills of their band of friends.

“Guy I Used To Be” – A Story of Love and Conversion

Oh, I set my past on fire.
Before you I was toeing on the wire,
But somehow you’re taking me higher, higher.”

Guy I Used To Be – Lawrence

Listening to these opening lines, I thought this song sounded a lot like conversion, calling to mind several of St. Paul’s verses. As I continued to hear the chorus, I thought, “No, it’s just another love song.” By the end, I realized that it can be both, because love and conversion have a lot of similarities. Yet, they are slightly different because I think one causes the other.

Love is the cause of conversion. 

The discovery of someone that you would sacrifice for and the sacrifice changes you and makes you better.

Want, Need, Got, Never Be Happy Without

“And I want you,
And I need you,
And I got you,
And I’ll never be happy without you.”

This someone that is found is so special that one is willing to give up anything to be with them. A quick pre-chorus describes this transformation with four quick steps.

  1. Want – Encountering (first exposure)
  2. Need – Learning about and understanding who the other is (what is true, good and beautiful about them that makes you need them over any other)
  3. Got – Commitment (to protecting what you have with this person)
  4. Never be happy without – Recommitment (til death)

The last step is where the cycle repeats because commitment to a love as well as conversion is not a one time event. It is a daily choice to not only grow closer but to remove the parts of you that are not in service of the relationship and the goodness that it brings.

Goodbye, to the Guy I Used to Be

“Good, good, good, goodbye,
To the guy I used to be,
To the life I used to lead.
Because now I see
You’re the only thing that matters to me.
And the man I was before,
He don’t matter anymore,
Because now I see
You’re thе only thing that matters to me”

Falling in love changes you. At its core, love creates, new life but also opportunity and change. I would not be where I am, doing what I am doing today if I did not love my wife and kids. I would also not live the same life if I did not love Jesus.

St. Paul and the Guy He Used to Be

St. Paul’s conversion is so notable and important to the Church that it gets its own feast day to celebrate it.

“that you should put away the old self of your former way of life, corrupted through deceitful desires, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new self, created in God’s way in righteousness and holiness of truth.”

St. Paul to the Ephesians 4:22-24

“We know that our old self was crucified with him, so that our sinful body might be done away with, that we might no longer be in slavery to sin”

St. Paul to the Romans 6:6

“Stop lying to one another, since you have taken off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed, for knowledge in the image of its creator.”

St. Paul to the Colossians 3:9-10

Here are three examples of Paul describing the process of falling in love with Christ to the Church around the world. He could have been singing this song as a Psalm at the time to express the same experience.

The Final Step of Love and Conversion

As I mentioned, love creates. In another word, it shares.

Love leads us to share our life with the beloved, but it also shares what it creates with the world.

In our four steps listed above, I would add sharing as the fifth and final step.

This is what inspires us to sing about our love for another, to tell others about who and what we love, and to evangelize so that the love overflows into the world.

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About Andrew Laflamme
Andrew is a husband and father with experience as a musician, engineer, and Catholic missionary. You can read more about the author here.
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