In the Blood?

John Mayer, like a number of other pop, blues or whatever singers, is testing the waters of country music.  According to billboard.com, his entry into the country music genre is a “folky1 single ‘In the Blood.’” AnOldSinner heard the song recently, and thought it was a decent effort. It did not sound particularly country, but it was pleasant and, in old man terms, folksy. One thing did strike a chord, the chorus or refrain, “Will it wash out in the water, or is it always in the blood?”

Hearing the refrain brought forth an immediate chuckle. After all, it seemed Mayer was simply another pop singer trying to build an audience in country music with a song that sounds a bit spiritual. Later, I was working on a piece reminiscent of “Sins of the Father.” It was then the rest of the song came into focus.

“In the Blood” is a young man’s lament. He worries he may have too much family baggage to have the life he seeks. He wonders, if he can overcome what he learned from his mother and father about relationships and life. He wonders if he is destined to make the same mistakes, and he wonders if there is a way out through Jesus. At least that is the way it sounds to AnOldSinner.

The song is not a hymn. It is possible it is not even intended to be spiritual. Whatever it was meant to be, it spoke to me. The sin’s of the father question is one with which many struggle. I have written or spoken about it on more than one occasion.

The song clearly echoes the concerns many have in this area.  If that were not enough, the next Bible study lesson I attended covered 2 Samuel 12. In case you do not have 2 Samuel memorized, this is where God lets King David know “the sword shall never depart from your house.”

The reason this strikes a chord is my experience, personally and professionally. As a police officer I watched the children of people I handled regularly for one crime or another grow up to make the same mistakes. As a life coach and seminar speaker I met people of all ages making the same mistakes as their parents and facing the same demons. In my personal life I found myself and my siblings making the same mistakes our parents made, and my children were faced with similar challenges.

The question then is must we follow in the footsteps of those who sinned before us? Mayer sums it up in one line, “Could I change it if I wanted, can I rise above the flood?” The answer of course is yes, one can rise above the flood.

One can, as the refrain suggests let the water of life wash away the blood of sin. Even then it is not easy. The world around us tempts us daily, and it is easy to step back onto the path others laid for us. Only by focusing on Jesus and His teachings can one have the hope God offered us through Christ.

I’m doing my best to keeping my focus on Him.  I pray you are as well.


  1. In case you wondered, folky is a word. It is a variant of folkie which means folk singer or instrumentalist.

© AnOldSinner – 2017

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