“Jar of Hearts” is the 2010 hit from Christina Perri. The track is an emotional ballad that discusses the fallout from a difficult breakup and the singer’s ex wanting to get back together. The singer, with as much strength as she can muster is telling the ex, “No.” The lyrics can be read here, for those interested.
The song begins by stating that the singer can not take any more steps toward this ex of hers. She says, “I know I can’t take one more step towards you / ‘Cause all that’s waiting is regret / Don’t you know I’m not your ghost anymore / You lost the love I loved the most.” She’s saying that she’s a changed person since she freed herself of the shackles of the previous relationship. It has been difficult, but she’s changed and this ex “…wants [her] one more time.”
She then calls to her ex saying, “Who do you think you are? / Runnin’ ’round leaving scars / Collecting your jar of hearts / And tearing love apart / You’re gonna catch a cold / From the ice inside your soul / So don’t come back for me / Who do you think you are?” She’s calling out to this person telling them, “You have ripped me apart, don’t come back. You ruined me and I need to change.” Sound like someone we know?
There is someone or some thing we need to divorce ourselves from, which keeps welling toward us trying to call us back – sin. Sin and temptation are all around us, calling us toward it (James 1:14-16). While our spirit is willing and able to fight back, our flesh is weak (Mark 14:38, Matthew 26:41) and we all fall short and sin (Romans 3:23, 1 John 1:8).
Perri, inadvertently, ended up chronicling our own struggle as individuals with sin. The devil and temptation always will return to us (James 1:14). They will continue to try to destroy us, bringing us down into bondage, leading to shame and sinful actions (John 8:34, Romans 6:20-21). Sins leave scars upon us and weaken us (1 Corinthians 11:27-30, Romans 6:23), hinders our prayer (Psalms 66:18), and impacts our family (Exodus 20:5). It tears people apart, hindering our walk with Christ.
“Don’t come back for me, don’t come back at all,” Perri says later in the song; we should be saying the same thing to our flesh and the devil. If we resist temptation in the Spirit, we will win because Christ wins (James 4:7). Christ calls us to remove all those things which cause us to sin, forcefully (Matthew 5:29, Matthew 18:8-9, Mark 9:45-48). When we pick up the Lord’s weapons and armor, we can win (Ephesians 6:12-17).
We have changed through Christ, we are born anew in the Spirit (John 3:3). He is sanctifying us by His Spirit daily and re-molding us into the image we are supposed to reflect (Romans 6:6, Galatians 2:20, 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5). Through Christ we are being remade in His image. With that truth embedded in our hearts, we need to realize that we do not need to give back in to those who had tried to destroy us in the past. Those who were collecting “jars of hearts,” “tearing love apart,” and causing us to live in our old, sinful ways. We need to look beyond them onto the horizon where Christ is waiting to lead us home. Let us be filled with His mercy and grace.