I Just Want Someone to Love Me the Way Kanye Loves Kanye
If you’re not familiar with Kanye West’s music, you probably know him as the guy who infamously interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the VMAs in 2009. Or perhaps you’ve seen one of the “I just want someone to love me the way Kanye loves Kanye” memes. There’s no doubt that Mr. West is a controversial figure--he’s known for referring to himself as a god and for being married to Kim Kardashian. But even that hasn’t diminished his popularity. 7 out of his 8 solo albums have debuted at No. 1 and he has won more Grammy Awards than any other rapper. Kanye has sold over 32 million albums and over 100 million digital downloads. That’s a lot of listeners. And that’s not even including his latest album, Ye.
How Do I Love Ye?
Kanye’s latest studio effort dropped on June 1 with mixed reviews from critics, but that hasn’t stopped it from rising to No. 1 on both Billboard and iTunes. I could only make it through the first song (barely), but I listened. And I read the lyrics:
“The most beautiful thoughts are always besides the darkest/ Today I seriously thought about killing you/ I contemplated, premeditated murder/ And I think about killing myself, and I love myself way more than I love you, so…”
“And I think about killing myself, and I love myself way more than I love you, so…”
Kanye casually raps these words. It’s disgusting, disturbing. How could someone think something like that, let alone… say it?
I checked myself mid-judgment.
Well, at least he’s honest.
Honesty is the Best Policy
We live in a world that is constantly telling us that we don’t love ourselves enough. Encouraged to “believe in yourself,” we are instructed to first love ourselves before we can love anyone else. This mantra parades as an angel of light on social media, in advertisements, and all over letterboards (just open Instagram). I am of the generation that got a trophy just for participating. Do anything, be anything! Just preach to yourself. Affirmation is a girl’s best friend and maybe if we all just told ourselves we’re awesome more often, we’d actually start believing it. Friends, we exist in a society where self-help books are a thing!
The reality is: we already love ourselves too much.
We are a deluded culture that has been deceived into believing that self-centeredness is the solution, rather than the problem. The sheer amount of time we spend diagnosing ourselves reveals our idolatry. In the middle of these culture wars, Kanye West’s declaration of utter self-love makes him one of the more honest recording artist today.
Truth That Sets Us Free
But we need more than just honesty, we need truth.
Jesus Christ himself lays it out for us. When asked how to inherit eternal life, Jesus says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27). The Matthew’s Gospel adds these words from Jesus: “On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:40).
Here is the truth by which the world turns: to GOD be glory and power and dominion. From him and through him and to him are all things. He is worthy of praise. In him we live and move and have our being. He is the Alpha and the Omega, he holds the universe by the word of his power. Before the beginning, he was. He is greatness; the true, the good, and the beautiful. He is star-namer and water-tamer. He knows the number of hairs on your head. The wind and the sea obey him. He loves his created-man so much that he condescended to become one of us. The God-man, Jesus Christ, laid aside his splendor and put on flesh and bones. Broken and bleeding, his human heart pierced for our transgression, he died. Greater love has no One than this. Christ was raised, his sacrifice accepted by the Father, and now he intercedes for his Bride before the throne. Jesus is coming back for his beloved, and he will usher her into a new age, a greater age, a perfect age. It’s just a matter of time.
Self-esteem enslaves and entraps, leaving us grasping for approval and reaching for a standard we can never achieve. But Christ-esteem rescues and releases, allowing us to shift from self-centeredness to self-forgetfulness. Because of who Christ is, because of what he has done, we have freedom from ourselves. And in turn, we have freedom to be used by God in the lives of our neighbors. The example is set, we must follow. We love because God first loved us.
And that blows Kanye’s love for Kanye out of the water.
Brontë has attended Sovereign Grace Church (almost) her whole life. Her respect for words led her to pursue a degree in literature and now she communicates for a living. Lately, she fell in love with her husband, is falling in love with Burnsville, and will continue to fall more in love with Jesus Christ.
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