When Francesca Battistelli’s “The Breakup Song,” was being worked to Christian radio and streaming outlets, I noticed an incredibly significant and important piece of data that had me calling stations on my own, unaided.
I could clearly see, in markets where the song was played, that beyond the shadow of a doubt, it connected. There was a clear and consistent connection of spins equaling sales or streaming, and what made this connection more obvious was in the markets where it did not get spun, that quotient was completely non-existent.
As I began calling stations to ask why they were choosing to stay away from such a song, one of them that wouldn’t budge gave me a reason why.
“How many songs about fear do we need?”, the PD asked, although in a question form, it was truly just a statement hidden inside a question. And then it came around again, and this time an MD stated something eerily similar.
“I believe our station has hit fear overload!”
I didn’t have an answer for either one of them at the time. And mostly, I was honored that they’d pick up a phone, call me back to have that discussion.
But as time passes, and as more and more songs, with a message of ‘fear,’ or better yet, overcoming it, defeating it and putting it behind us, continue to come out and do well on the charts and in our research, I have finally come up with my snappy response; my wise comeback.
Q: How many songs about fear do we need?
A: As many as it takes to defeat it, once and for all.
Faith isn’t a light bulb turning on, but instead it’s more like a light already on, but with a dimmer switch. Sometimes our faith is bright and fully on, and other times, it’s floundering and we’re not even sure if it’s the size of a mustard seed; yet because God is so good, a light still emanates despite our weaknesses.
His grace is so unexplainable, because we don’t deserve it, yet He remains patient and then one day we return to a faith at great strength.
I didn’t think this way at the time of the conversations, but I wholeheartedly believe this now; that the reason why so many songs about ‘fear,’ or any songs with similar subject matter begin to come up over and over again is because the Spirit of God is at work in the messengers who make the music and in their time of seeking a word or inspiration from God, He is faithful and consistent in His messaging, and before we know it, we see several songs with a common theme.
Holy Spirit Inspired
It’s happened more than a few times with the term, ‘It’s okay to not be okay.’ And we could go on with many similar themes that hit us in waves from several different directions and artists, who have never sat down with each other.
If you would judge a song because you think that there is a ‘Fear Overload,’ on your station, I would have a follow-up question for you, so be it, many months later. Have you conquered fear in your life, completely? Do you think your listener has??
This is how God’s word is. It’s first a word that hits us between the eyes and changes our hearts and our lives. And then, when it comes back around, it’s the reminder to fight the good fight, as the walk of faith is a long one, a weary one and one we are commanded to persevere through. And how can we do that? With constant encouragement. Sometimes, by hearing the same thing repeatedly until one day it sinks in.
What are you fearful of today? Does it have to do with you, your spouse, maybe a child or your children? Is it the threat of your job, a relationship or discomfort around peers? Life is uncertain, no question, and the devil is active, working overtime to slow you down and knock you off your mode of transportation, or get you distracted that you forget the route entirely.
Stamp Out Phobophobia
But there’s great news. Jesus has defeated the devil. Fear is a tool Satan uses as a threat to attempt to diminish your greatness in God, which is impossible, because your greatness in God is God-given and it can’t be taken from you – so wear it at full strength.
Ephesians 6:11 says, “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”
Fear is just one of those schemes. So, make one last call to ‘Fear,’ and do what Franny suggested, ‘break it off for good.’ I would take it one step further. Once you’ve broken it off, take Fear out of your contacts, because one day you’ll be walking with your phone in your pocket and it will hit the rubber part of the keys perfectly and before you know it, you’ve pocket dialed somebody whose going to turn down all the sounds in their room, just to try to make out the frivolous conversation you’re having with whomever you’re walking with. Heaven forbid that Fear ever hears from you again, on purpose, or even accidentally.