Two Thoughts on the Susan Boyle Phenomenon

April 17, 2009 — 6 Comments

sb-postSo by now you’ve probably heard about Susan Boyle and her experience on the UK TV show Britain’s Got Talent – it’s all over YouTube and she’s even on Wikipedia! If you haven’t, you gotta get out more!

The obvious lesson here is how we judge by appearances – all of us. Whether we are willing to admit it or not, we do it. We know it’s wrong and unfair, but it’s a natural reaction…

In an interview with the Washington Post, Boyle said it all to well:

“Modern society is too quick to judge people on their appearances. … There is not much you can do about it; it is the way they think; it is the way they are. But maybe this could teach them a lesson, or set an example.”

That’s the obvious take away…I have two other observations:

First, can you imagine what it would have been like if people based their belief in Jesus solely on his looks during his life on earth?

We don’t have any actual images of Jesus and The Bible never gives any physical description of Him. The closest we have is found in Isaiah 53:2, “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him.” So basically, we can surmise that Jesus’ appearance was just like any other man’s – quite ordinary-looking. We can probably surmise other things, based how people from that region look, on his profession as a carpenter, and the fact that he probably traveled by foot a lot (he would have had to have been somewhat fit). Jesus established his credibility and authority with miracles and by speaking with an authority that had not been seen or heard…not with his looks.

Ponder this: two thousand years later, people base their belief on His appearance – His appearance through me and you. What a profound and pressure-filled thought…someone may accept or reject even considering Christ because of my actions (or lake thereof). “Let every detail in your lives-words, actions, whatever-be done in the name of the Master, Jesus,…” Col 3:17 [MSG] I guess if one is a “secret agent” follower of Christ (which is an oxymoron) you may be able to get by; but, if one is truly living a genuine and dependent life of worship, people will see Jesus in us and possibly make a decision to reject, consider, or believe.

It’s a lot of pressure, but nothing new to followers of Christ!

Second, it’s sad how we let our desire for acceptance influence our actions and image of ourselves – especially in light of how God sees us.

So I am not talking about talent and skill – some of us have them in certain areas and some don’t…that was obvious from Susan Boyle’s experience. I am talking about self image and letting what others think suppress our actions.

There are a ton of self-help books and resources out there that seek to build self confidence and image – they are great tools and serve a purpose. My point here is that even before we turn to those resources, we forget the basic and best resource: the fact that God formed us, loves us, and sees us as beautiful! It’s more than a game show with fantastic prizes – it’s the unconditional acceptance and love of the creator of the entire universe! In the words of MC Hammer, the world “…Can’t Touch This”!

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Psalm 139: 13-15

Simon…all the “judges” in our lives…”U Can’t Touch This!”



The choruses in two favorite songs speak to this – one from The David Crowder Band and the other from Tommy Walker:

Everything Glorious
David Crowder

You make ev’rything glorious
You make ev’rything glorious
You make ev’rything glorious
And I am Yours
What does that make me?

He Knows My Name
Tommy Walker

He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
And hears me when I call
He hears me when I call


Amen & Peace out!

6 responses to Two Thoughts on the Susan Boyle Phenomenon


    Hey, word is right – good stuff – thanks for sharing the link!
    For the Kingdom,
    Fred McKinnon


    Great post Dennis. I really appreciate your thoughts even though I had not seen those clips yet. See you soon.


    Thanks for your thoughts on acceptance. This is something I’ve really been thinking through recently, and your words have helped solidify some thoughts for me, and reminded me of my value to God.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. A Tale of Two Women « Observations…by a Dependant Workman* - April 22, 2009

    […] blogged about Susan Boyle last week – one of the main points being that people often base their belief in Christ by His […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s