Why I admire Taylor Swift

I must admit, I’ve always liked Taylor Swift. 

I mean, she won’t be my first pick when – in a parallel universe – my teenage daughter asks me for a role model to follow. But I like her because she cuts across the grain. She stands up for what she believes is right, even against culture’s prevailing wind. 

She raised some eyebrows when she was one of few top artists who vetoed Spotify for its unjust effect on struggling musicians. And she recently made a public stand against ‘everyday’ sexual abuse. 

Having been groped while being photographed with a well-known DJ, Swift took the man to court. And won. She won a dollar.

Of course, this wasn’t about the money. No – in her own words, her hope was “to help those whose voices should also be heard.”

Hats off. 

But will this make men think twice before ‘upskirting’ a woman at the bus stop? Maybe, maybe not. Will it prevent the daily incidents of women being touched indecently on crowded trains? It might do. But whether it does or doesn’t, I admire her nonetheless. 

For my part, I'm a product of an outcomes-obsessed culture. I believe the lie that I should only speak up if it'll change the world. Which I’m yet to do.

But this isn’t why our Father commands us to do what is right. We do what is right, because it is right to do. It is right because it glorifies God by displaying the shining light of his character in a dark world. 

Will being honest on my tax return bring someone to Christ? Probably not. Will challenging my superiors while they gossip about an awkward colleague go well for me? I certainly won’t be first in line for the next promotion. But again, this isn’t about the money.

It’s about being like God. Because this is why he saved you.

“Just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do.” (1 Peter 1:15)

Unlike Taylor – to my knowledge – we have a reason to do the right thing which doesn’t depend on its outcome or even a self-serving sense of moral satisfaction. We do good, pursue justice, evangelise the lost, serve the poor and pursue human flourishing because in so doing we are like the God who called us into his glorious light. 

And that’s enough. It’s what he made us for.