According to You
Main Point of Discussion: Life is filled with conflicting and confusing messages. Some are even deadly. We must be extremely careful who we choose to listen to.
The Music Video: “According to You” by Orianthi
Orianthi Panagaris was born in Adelaide, Australia of half Greek descent. She learned to play the acoustic guitar at age six, switched to electric when she was 11 and left school at 15 to focus on writing songs and performing. Orianthi played with several star names such as Prince and Carrie Underwood and was chosen by Michael Jackson to be his lead guitarist for his This Is It concerts. She played and sang at Jackson's globally-televised memorial on July 7, 2009. This is her debut single from Believe, her first album released by a major record label.
Orianthi told iProng Magazine about this anthem concerning moving on from a bad relationship to a healthier one: "It's just a really empowering song. It's about moving on from a bad situation to a better one and being treated well and not putting up with crap." (www.songfacts.com)
It is possible to teach students about God and His love by using Orianthi’s music without endorsing her music to your teenagers. The practice of using secular material for sacred purposes goes all the way back to the Apostle Paul. See Acts 17.
You can purchase the music video from iTunes for $1.99 or access it for free at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pu1aQvm5MrU.
Introducing the Music Video:
While passing out a copy of the song lyrics, say, “Orianthi is a talented musician who obviously cares about her craft of playing guitar. She has toured with Michael Jackson and other high profile artists, and in this song she draws a distinction between two very different messages that she’s receiving from two different relationships.”
Song Lyrics: “According to You”
According to you I'm stupid, I'm useless, I can't do anything right. According to you I'm difficult, hard to please, forever changing my mind.
I'm a mess in a dress, can't show up on time, even if it would save my life. According to you. According to you.
But according to him I'm beautiful, incredible, he can't get me out of his head. According to him I'm funny, irresistible, everything he ever wanted. Everything is opposite, I don't feel like stopping it, so baby tell me what I got to lose. He's into me for everything I'm not, according to you.
According to you I'm boring, I'm moody, you can't take me any place. According to you I suck at telling jokes cause I always give it away. I'm the girl with the worst attention span; you're the boy who puts up with it. According to you. According to you.
But according to him I'm beautiful, incredible, he can't get me out of his head. According to him I'm funny, irresistible, everything he ever wanted. Everything is opposite, I don't feel like stopping it, so baby tell me what I got to lose. He's into me for everything I'm not, according to you. I need to feel appreciated, like I'm not hated. oh-- no--.
Why can't you see me through his eyes? It's too bad you're making me decide. According to me you're stupid, you're useless, you can't do anything right. But according to him I'm beautiful, incredible, he can't get me out of his head. According to him I'm funny, irresistible, everything he ever wanted. Everything is opposite, I don't feel like stopping it, baby tell me what I got to lose. He's into me for everything I'm not, according to you. [you, you] According to you. [you, you] According to you I'm stupid, I'm useless, I can't do anything right.
This video obviously paints a picture of two very different relationships Orianthi is in; one that’s negative and insulting, and one that’s positive and encouraging. In many ways, I think we can all relate to having different messages come into our world every day. Whether it is from parents or friends, movies or magazines, we all choose who to listen to and what to believe. And that has a huge impact on our lives.
Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
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- AROUND THE CIRCLE: As we get started, everyone take a moment to share your name and tell us what some of your talents and hobbies are.
- ASK A FEW: “According to You” has already racked up millions of views online. Why do you think it’s so popular?
- ASK A FEW: What is the main message of the video?
- ASK A FEW: Are there any parts or lines that you can relate to? If so, how?
- ASK A FEW: Why do you think she even got into a relationship with the “you” guy in the first place?
- ASK A FEW: How could two people have such a radically different viewpoint of the same person?
- ASK A FEW: Have you ever been told that you were stupid and useless? If so, how did it make you feel?
Read the following passage from the Bible:
(John 10:1-10 The Message)
"Let me set this before you as plainly as I can. If a person climbs over or through the fence of a sheep pen instead of going through the gate, you know he's up to no good—a sheep rustler! The shepherd walks right up to the gate. The gatekeeper opens the gate to him and the sheep recognize his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he gets them all out, he leads them and they follow because they are familiar with his voice. They won't follow a stranger's voice but will scatter because they aren't used to the sound of it."
Jesus told this simple story, but they had no idea what he was talking about. So he tried again. "I'll be explicit, then. I am the Gate for the sheep. All those others are up to no good—sheep stealers, every one of them. But the sheep didn't listen to them. I am the Gate. Anyone who goes through me will be cared for—will freely go in and out, and find pasture. A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.
ASK SOMEONE: What do the ‘sheep’ represent in this passage? (Leaders - Jesus’ followers.)
ASK SOMEONE: According to this passage, what do the thieves do? (Leaders - they go over or through the fence, they don't use the door; they are up to no good, "they come to steal and kill and destroy")
ASK A FEW: When Jesus draws a distinction between His voice and the voice of the thief, what do you think His point is? (Leaders - That his voice is different than the theives. His sheep know his voice. He speaks truth and love and thieves and robbers speak lies.)
ASK A FEW: Give some examples of the things you think the thieves are trying to steal? (Leaders – For example, joy, contentment, peace, etc.)
ASK A FEW: How can you tell the difference between Jesus’ voice and the voices of thieves?
ASK A FEW: What are the similarities between this passage of Scripture and Orianthi’s “According to You”? (Leaders - There are two different voices that are trying to speak into our lives, one bringing encouragement and love and the other bringing death and destruction.)
ASK A FEW: Do you think Jesus thinks we are “beautiful, incredible” and He “can’t get us out of His head”? Why or why not?
ASK A FEW: What are some ways we can be sure we are listening to Jesus’ voice and not the thief’s voice? (Leader - knowing God's word and making sure the voice is in line with scripture)
AROUND THE CIRCLE: What will you do immediately to ensure that you are tuning into Jesus’ voice? (Leaders – For example, quiet times, Bible reading, Bible study, etc.)
Even though we all have “According to You” messages thrown our way from all kinds of sources, the good news is that we have another voice we can focus on that is freeing and healing. But sometimes, it’s hard to distinguish between the two.
Let’s take some time to start listening for Jesus
Ask students to find a quiet place outside or inside and listen uninterrupted for 5-10 minutes. Encourage them to simply engage in the discipline of silently listening. When they come back together, give them a chance to share what came to mind and whether or not they sensed that God spoke to them in any way.
Close in Prayer:
Close in a prayer that gives students a chance to trust Christ, then ask God to remind us to take time each day to listen for our Good Shepherd’s voice.
Written by Lane Palmer
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