A Quick Music Discussion Guide for Parents
The Song: “Going Gone” by The Black Eyed Peas
Main Point of Discussion: Store up treasures that please God.
Vital Info Before You Get Started: (The following should help you contextualize this very popular song so you can have a great discussion about it with your kids.)
- Keep in mind that this song includes a questionable lyric (“give a damn”). Use your discretion when playing the tune for your family.
- Don’t appear as if you have a “canned” discussion in your head and rattle off questions like a teacher giving a pop quiz—your kids get enough of that in school. This is a guide, primarily—not a verbatim script. Just familiarize yourself with the content here and start a conversation in the most natural, unforced way you know how.
Johnny wanna be a big star
Get on stage and play the guitar
Make a little money, buy a fancy car
Big old house and an alligator
Just to match with them alligator shoes
He's a rich man so he's no longer singing the blues
He's singing songs about material things
And platinum rings and watches that go bling
But diamonds don't bling in the dark
He a star now, but he ain't singing from the heart
Sooner or later he's just gonna fall apart
Coz his fans can't relate to his newfound art
He ain't doing what he did from the start
And that's putting in some feeling and thought
He decided to live his life shallow
Passion is love for material
And it’s gone... gone... going...
Gone... everything gone... give a damn...
Gone be the birds when they don't want to sing...
Gone people... up awkward with their things... gone.
You see yourself in the mirror
And you feel safe coz it looks familiar
But you afraid to open up your soul
Coz you don't really know, don't really know
Who he is, the person that's deep within
Coz you are content with just being the name-brand man
And you fail to see that it’s trivial
Insignificant, you addicted to material
I've seen your kind before
You're the type that thinks souls is sold in a store
Packaged up with incense sticks
With them vegetarian meals
To you that's righteous
You're fiction like books
You need to go out to life and look
Coz... what happens when they take your material
You already sold your soul and it’s...
You say that time is money and money is time
So you got mind on your money and your money on your mind
But what about... that crime that you did to get paid
And what about... that bid, you can't take it to your brain
What about those shoes you'll wear today
They'll do no good on the bridges you walked along the way
All that money that you got gonna be gone
That gear that you rock gonna be gone
The house up on the hill gonna be gone
The gold purse on your grill gonna be gone
The ice on your wrist gonna be gone
That nice little Miss gonna be gone
That whip that you roll gonna be gone
And what's worst is your soul's already gone
Three Simple Questions (with Answers You May Be Looking for):
Q: What’s the message of this song?
A: Money, and all the things it buys, doesn’t last forever—so watch what you focus on.
Q: How do you suppose we—as serious Christ-followers—should react to this song?
A: Money isn’t the answer to life’s problems; in fact, the love of it can cause greater problems. The pursuit of and obsession with money is dangerous. You see it every day on the news—people fight and commit murder; wealthy celebrities get multiple divorces and become substance abusers; lottery winners’ lives become ruined. All over the love of money.
Q: How can we move from healthy, Bible-based opinions about this song to actually living out those opinions?
A: The Bible says in 1 Timothy 6:9-12 (NIV)…
9People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 11But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 12Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
Where to Take It from Here:
Wherever it feels natural. If these questions lead to a longer discussion on the topic, wonderful! (There’s a guide just after this paragraph that helps you do just that.) If your kids are barely uttering grunts, don’t get discouraged—the next time it feels right, try out another song. Keep engaging them.
For Deeper Discussion:
(If your kids seem into diving in deeper and looking at what the Bible has to say on the subject, the following discussion guide can help take you there.)
Want help getting your teenager engaged in conversation? CLICK HERE for a helpful article from our "Parenting Help" page providing you with 3 Essentials to Talking with Today's Teens.
Could this song’s message, be striking a chord with listeners? Let’s look at things more closely, especially what the Bible has to say about storing up treasures on earth and in heaven.
More Discussion Questions:
- HAVE ALL YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS ANSWER: Let’s each share something we wanted and got for Christmas last year.
- HAVE ALL YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS ANSWER: Do you still use/enjoy that present now? Will you still be enjoying it in five years? 10? 20?
Read the following passage from the Bible:
Matthew 6:19-30 (NLT)
"Don't store up treasures here on earth, where they can be eaten by moths and get rusty, and where thieves break in and steal.  Store your treasures in heaven, where they will never become moth-eaten or rusty and where they will be safe from thieves.  Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be.
 "Your eye is a lamp for your body. A pure eye lets sunshine into your soul.  But an evil eye shuts out the light and plunges you into darkness. If the light you think you have is really darkness, how deep that darkness will be!
 "No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
 "So I tell you, don't worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food, drink, and clothes. Doesn't life consist of more than food and clothing?  Look at the birds. They don't need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are.  Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not.
 "And why worry about your clothes? Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing,  yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.  And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won't he more surely care for you? You have so little faith!
ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What kind of treasures do you store up?
ASK ONE FAMILY MEMBER: There is a promise in verse 21 (Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be.) Put that verse into your own words.
ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What are some examples of “treasures in Heaven”?
ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: How can a person store up treasure in Heaven?
ASK ONE FAMILY MEMBER: Picture yourself on your school campus. What kinds of treasures are around you? (Parent—answers you’re looking for: Peers, lonely people, teachers, opportunities to serve, etc.)
ASK ONE FAMILY MEMBER: What kinds of treasures are around you right here?
HAVE ALL YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS ANSWER: How might we take the time and effort to treasure each other this week?
As you think about the things you’ve been treasuring, you may feel convicted to leave a few of those things behind. Choose one specific thing that you treasure but don’t believe God treasures and decide tonight to leave that thing behind. Also think about the treasures at your school and in our home—now choose one thing that you probably should treasure that you haven’t really treasured. Let’s decide right now to take action this week to treasure those things that God treasures.
Close in Prayer
Written by Teddi Pettee
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