Whitney Houston and The Greatest Love

With all the talk and controversy over the death of Whitney Houston this weekend, I was driving in the car and the radio was playing her greatest hits in her honor.

One of her most famous songs from the 80s came on. The Greatest Love. I can remember when that song was popular, I used to use it for motivation before my little league baseball games. I would keep singing it over and over in my head. Hey don’t judge…I know I am not the only one. Most of us did the same thing with Humpty and Vanilla Ice and possibly even Milli Vanilli, but we are getting off topic here.

The point being, as I was listening to this song and actually listening to the lyrics it hit me. Everyone was aware Ms. Houston’s battle with drugs and personal problems. Many of us that were familiar with her career, often labeled her career, “Pre-Bobby” (before her marriage to Bobby Brown) and “The Bobby Era” (her years married to Bobby Brown). Now of course a lot of us, especially Whitney Houston fans like to blame her drug problem on Bobby Brown. The innocent gospel singer that got mixed up with the wrong person, hip-hop thug, Bobby Brown. And he got her mixed up into drugs which ruined her career and ultimately led to her early death.

I will say that Ms. Houston did an honorable thing in her interview years ago with Diane Sawyer and also with Barbara Walters, in first and foremost, admitting her drug problem and not trying to hide it or lie about it (Barry Bonds, Mark McGuire, Rafael Palmiero probably missed those interviews, but getting off topic again here). The other honorable and memorable thing Ms. Houston did during those interviews, was not blame other people for her drug use. She took ownership and was very clear that she is the one that made those choices. Very admirable to see her say this publicly.

Back to her song…..

What was not mentioned in that interview but struck me this past weekend when I heard that song for the first time in many years, and definitely for the first time since I became a Christian. That song and those lyrics, in my opinion (of which I am an expert), was her downfall and the beginning of the end:

The Greatest Love of All

    Is Easy to Achieve

    Learning to Love Yourself

    It is the Greatest Love of All

Learning to love yourself, is the dumbest thing of all. Although Freud, Jung, Pavlov and all of their New-Age Ism friends may agree with Ms. Houston. From my personal experience and more important than that, from God Himself and His Word, I would have to say that is where the problem begins and ends. Most people know God’s greatest commandment is to what? “Love the LORD your God with all your heart. And to love your neighbor as yourself.” Even if you have a “coexist” sticker on your bumper, you probably know that ALL of the world’s top religions (Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Hindu) all command the people to love something, other than self. Be it Jesus, God, Allah and other muslims, people in your caste system, etc. Deep down, although we are all born loving ourselves, we all know that there is something wrong with that in us and in this world we live in. Hence the reason that religion takes form and tries to make rules to fix things that are broken in this world and in people.

A life of loving one self is exhausting. It leads to nothing but constant anger and frustration (read the book of James). If the main point in this universe is YOU, than everyone else is just an annoyance or an obstacle, keeping you from your happiness. The guy that cuts you off in traffic…how dare he? Doesn’t he know that he cut YOU off, and that YOU were on YOUR way to somewhere very important? That prospect that just said No to ME and kept ME from making a sale, which kept ME from making MY money, which just kept ME from getting that new car I wanted. How dare he say no to ME. Or MY wife that just asked for help with THE kids tonight. How dare she? Doesn’t she realize that she married ME, so that I can be happy and that tonight I wanted to watch the Knick game and check out this Lin-Sanity kid? (Bet you didn’t think I would be able to drop a Jeremy Linn reference into a post about Whitney Houston and Her Greatest Love). How dare she come between ME and MY beer and a night watching 10 tall guys in shorts running around chasing a ball while I ignore my own kids. Doesn’t she know that this is not making ME happy? Marriage is supposed to be about us making each other happy, isn’t it? (post coming soon). Well, now I am not happy and am quite angry and frustrated.

How exhausting……

Living for the Greatest  Love of Self is the way of man and it leads to what? Death!

When you live a life that is all about you, it will always end in anger and frustration. Then what? Well, you are not very happy, you are often angry and frustrated. So you, like the rest of us have to make one of three choices every single day you wake up:

1)You can kill yourself

2)You can self medicate and drug yourself to mask the pain, anger and frustration and unhappiness

or

3)You can get on board with God’s plan

God’s plan, to love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your might. It frees you up. It frees you up from anger and frustration when you finally realize that the point of this world is not you. The point is God Himself. When you realize this, a funny thing happens…no more anger. No more frustration. And it frees you up to love others.

The Greatest Love of All

    Is Easy to Achieve

    Learning to Love Yourself The Lord Your God

It is the Greatest Love of All

    And if by Chance that Special Place

    That you’ve been dreaming of

    Leads you to a VERY lonely place

    Find your strength in love CHRIST!

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