Music Discussions

Still Learning

still-learning

Main Point: When we embrace our identity in Christ, we are able to love others as we love ourselves.

About the Artist  Halsey

Ashley Nicolette Frangipane was born in New Jersey in 1994. As she was growing up, Ashley played the violin, viola, and cello until moving onto the acoustic guitar when she was 14. At the age of 18, she encountered financial trouble and leaned on music to pay her rent. She started to play acoustic shows in different cities, using different stage names each time. She eventually chose “Halsey” as her moniker because it is an anagram of her real name as well as the name of a street in Brooklyn where she spent a lot of time as a teenager. Halsey spent time at community college as a creative writing major, but eventually dropped out which led to a period where she spent time living in homeless shelters. Eventually music became her therapy, and she gained online popularity, jumpstarting her career.

Song Lyrics: Still Learning

I should be living the dream
But I’m living with a security team
And that ain’t gonna change, no
I got a paranoia in me
And you wouldn’t believe
Everything that I’ve seen, no
Coming apart at the seams

And no one around me knows
Who I am, what I’m on
Who I’ve hurt and where they’ve gone
I know that I’ve done some wrong
But I’m trying to make it right
to the one I love bring me around
get me out right now

I know that I love you but I’m still learning
To love myself (To love my, to love my, to love my)
I’m still learning to love myself (To love my, to love my, to love my)

I should be living the dream
But I go home and I got no self-esteem (Nope)
You think I’m swimming in green, but
It’s passed around my family tree
No man wants to really commit
Intimidated ’cause I get paid and sh**
In the crowd you’re reading my lips, but
No one around me knows

Who I am, what I’m on
Who I’ve hurt and where they’ve gone
I know that I’ve done some wrong
But I’m trying to make it right
The same mistakes on and on
To all my friends I’m sorry for
And know that I love you
But I’m still learning to love myself (To love my, to love my, to love my)
I’m still learning to love myself (To love my, to love my, to love my)

Oh, I try and I try
To remember sometimes
If I breathe it’s alright
Some things don’t change
I’m still learning to love myself (To love my, to love my, to love my)

Who I am, what I’m on
Who I’ve hurt and where they’ve gone
I know that I’ve done some wrong
But I’m trying to make it right
To the one I love bring me around
Get me out right now

I’m still learning to love myself (To love my, to love my, to love my)
I’m still learning to love myself (To love my, to love my, to love my)
And I try and I try
To remember sometimes
If I breathe it’s alright
Some things don’t change
I’m still learning to love myself (To love myself, I’m tryin’ to love myself)
I’m still learning to love myself

Introducing the Song – You Say This: Still Learning captures Halsey’s struggle with her fame and success, and the expectations she feels that others have toward her. She feels inadequate to love others with the same excellence that she has experienced in her career. Her response is to turn inward and take steps toward loving herself better.

The Music Video:
The music video can be viewed for free at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDgcS1kVP0A

Hand Out Lyrics and Play the Song.  

Transitional Statement – You Say This: In this song, Halsey struggles with loving others because of her insecurity and lack of self-love. Does this mean that each of us should focus on loving ourselves more than loving others? What impact does our view of ourselves have on how we love others?

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.

CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format – a great resource to equip your small group leaders.

Discussion Questions:

  1. AROUND THE CIRCLE: Since the song is called Still Learning let’s have everyone share something they have learned recently that they did not previously know.
  1. ASK A FEW: Halsey is “Ashley” with the letters restructured. Can anyone make a cool new name by mixing up the letters of their first name?
  1. ASK A FEW: What do you think it means to love yourself? Do you think it’s possible to love yourself without being a narcissist or basically being super arrogant?
  1. ASK A FEW: Read these lyrics: I know that I’ve done some wrong, But I’m trying to make it right, The same mistakes on and on, To all my friends I’m sorry for, And know that I love you – But I’m still learning to love myself. What do you think Halsey is trying to say here? What do you think she is saying?
  1. ASK A FEW: One report says 85% of young people want to be social media “influencers” meaning they want to have a public platform. As so many aspire to fame, what do you think about Halsey writing these lyrics? I should be living the dream, But I go home and I got no self-esteem (Nope)
  1. ASK A FEW: If someone has a low view of themselves, how can this influence how they love others?
  1. ASK A FEW: How does our identity in Christ allow us to love others better?
  1. ASK A FEW: Why do you think Halsey says that she tries sometimes to remember if she breathes – it’s alright? In what ways do you need to hear that in your own life?
    • Read the Following Passage:

      Matthew 22:38
      Love your neighbor as yourself.

  1. ASK A FEW: Read Matthew 22:34-40. What is happening in these verses?
  1. ASK A FEW: What do you think it means to love your neighbor as yourself?
  1. ASK A FEW: Why do you think Jesus included these things together instead of saying, “Love your neighbor and also love yourself”?
  1. ASK A FEW: Read Philippians 2:3 which says, “do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather in humility value others above yourselves.” What does this verse say about how we should love others?
  1. ASK A FEW: Can you put someone above yourself in a healthy way if you have a low view of yourself? Explain how you think these things relate.
  1. ASK A FEW: Look again at Matthew 22:38. Does God want us to think badly of ourselves so we can think better of others? Explain why you think the way you do.
  2. ASK A FEW: How can we love others well while still working through our own issues?
  3. ASK A FEW: If Halsey understood what her identity could be in Christ, do you think that would help her? Explain why you think the way you do.
  4. ASK A FEW: What would you say to someone who was struggling to love others because of the challenge they are having in loving themselves?
  5. AROUND THE CIRCLE: Take time to read these verses together. After we read them, share which one God might be wanting you to embrace in your life.

Wrap Up – You Say This:

When you first hear this song, there might be a cringe factor for some when they hear a famous person sing about loving themselves. It would be difficult for people to look at the world and think things would be improved if only people would focus more on self-love! While it would be unhealthy to put your focus on loving yourself and not on loving others, Jesus tells us to love our neighbors AS we love ourselves. It appears that our outward love toward others will be directly influenced by our view of ourselves – and Jesus knew that – so he said them together. You love your neighbor as you love yourself, so with that said – go and learn to love both equally. Take a few minutes and talk to Jesus about what it means to love yourself, and how knowing Him impacts your view of yourself. 

(Pause and give them a quiet moment to mediated and pray silently.) 

When you can love yourself well, you are able to put others before you – because you are secure in your identity in Christ. When you are unable to love yourself well, you love others with a broken love and struggle to put them before yourself as the pride and selfishness can leak out. Take a few minutes and talk to God about this, and acknowledge the desire of your heart when it comes to loving others well. 

(Pause and give them a few moments to pray silently.) 

It can feel weird for a follower of Jesus to talk about loving themselves. We hear the world talk about loving ourselves first – but Jesus has told us in Matthew 22 to love God first. When we read Jesus telling us to love others as we love ourselves, it’s far too easy to ignore the first part. The truth is that for those who believe in Him, He has called us His children. We are loved by Him for who we are and not what we do. Our security comes from who He says we are. We can see ourselves in a healthy way because we are created in His image, and He loves us more than we could comprehend. Let us be people who embrace that truth so we can live out Philippians 2:3 and place others before ourselves. Let us be people who see Jesus in us, that the world would then see the love we show them and be drawn to our incredible God.

CLOSE IN PRAYER

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Rob Chagdes

Rob Chagdes is one of the pastors at Prairie Lakes Church in northern Iowa. In the years since he met Jesus as a sixteen year old, Rob has spent his life working to raise up the next generation to love God and invite others into His unending story. He spends most of his free time with his wife Leslie, their three amazing daughters, and their energetic dog Jedi. You can reach Rob at chagdeswrites@gmail.com .

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