The Gospel According to Bono

I’ve been a fan of U2 ever since their Joshua Tree album. I’m not their only fan either, being that U2 is listed among the top-10 best-selling bands of all time.

BonoIt’s no secret that Bono, the lead singer of U2, believes in Jesus. He may be hesitant label his beliefs as “Christian,” claiming the word carries excessive baggage (which I fully understand), but he has never shied away from admitting to be a follower of Jesus Christ.

Which is why I’ve often wondered about the meaning behind U2’s hit song, “I Still Haven’t Found what I’m Looking for“—a song he frequently introduces as “a Gospel song for the doubters.”

Does Bono believe that Jesus is enough, or is he still looking for something more?

But then I noticed something interesting. When I looked at their lyrics through the decades, I saw the same paradigm shift that transformed my own faith:

It appears that Bono’s faith has shifted from one
of constant striving and doubt to one of peace and trust.

In order to illustrate this further, let’s take a look at some of these lyrics.

First, from “I Still Haven’t Found what I’m Looking for,” written in 1987:

I have climbed the highest mountains
I have run through the fields
Only to be with you
Only to be with you

I have run I have crawled
I have scaled these city walls
These city walls
Only to be with you
But I still haven’t found
What I’m looking for
But I still haven’t found
What I’m looking for

When I read these lyrics, I can’t help but think of the sin-management mentality that consumed the majority of my Christian life. I was trying to do everything I could to be a “good Christian,” to follow the rules and make God happy.

I wanted to be with God, but I was trying to orchestrate the relationship in my own power.

I tried to climb the mountain.

I tried to run through the fields.

I was trying to earn my way to God through my own goodness. But no matter how hard I tried, it never worked.

I never found what I was looking for.

Now, compare that to the song “Grace” from their 2001 album “All That You Can’t Leave Behind”:

She takes the blame
She covers the shame
Removes the stain
It could be her name

What once was hurt
What once was friction
What left a mark
No longer stings
Because grace makes beauty
Out of ugly things

Notice how there’s no longer any sense of striving. There’s no list of things Bono has accomplished in order to gain God’s blessing.

Everything in this song is about what Grace has offered to him.

Grace took his blame.

Grace covered his shame.

The sting of shame is gone, and it’s not because Bono finally climbed the highest mountains or scaled the city walls. It’s gone because the grace of God changed his heart, removing the stain of sin from his life.

This understanding of grace is what changed my paradigm, opening my eyes to the reality that following Jesus isn’t about trying to do the right things to please Him, it’s about learning how to trust what He has done for me.

That’s how Grace makes beauty out of ugly things.

Have you found whatever it is you’re looking for?

10 Lies Men Believe about Porn Preview

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

PLEASE NOTE: I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic. If in doubt, read My Comments Policy.