Bebe Rexha – What It's Meant to Be?

By: Sam Chan

Meant to Be” is Bebe Rexha’s highest-charting single. Released in October 2017, it has had approx. 500 million views on YouTube, and peaked at #2 on the ARIA charts in Australia.

This song is a great anthem for our time. It speaks to me, and I’m sure it speaks to you.

In the video clip, the country duo – Florida Georgia Line – represent a couple of dateable guys who woo Bebe Rexha with this chorus:

If it’s meant to be, it’ll be, it’ll be
Baby, just let it be
If it’s meant to be, it’ll be, it’ll be
Baby, just let it be
So, won’t you ride with me, ride with me?
See where this thing goes
If it’s meant to be, it’ll be, it’ll be
Baby, if it’s meant to be

It’s a siren call for freedom without the responsibility. Let go of whatever has a hold on us, abandon our fortunes to fate, and let’s see where this thing goes. Whatever happens, don’t be hard on ourselves. It’s just what was meant to be.

It’s an updated version of Doris Day’s Que será, será!

Que será, será
Whatever will be, will be
The future’s not ours to see
Que será, será
What will be, will be

This song offers a welcome alternative to our high pressure world, where it’s all responsibility but so few choices. We’re told in High School that our exams will determine our destiny, so study hard. Next, we’re told to choose our careers carefully, lest we wreck our future. And we’re told to choose our life partners carefully, or we might end up in a life of loneliness.

So how good is it to hear this song’s opposite message? Abandon responsibility (and choice), and let’s just see what happens? It’s a happy pop version of stoic fatalism.

But a life of no responsibility cuts both ways.

As Bebe Rexha sings:

I don’t mean to be so uptight,
but my heart’s been hurt a couple times
By a couple guys that didn’t treat me right
I ain’t gon’ lie, ain’t gonna lie
‘Cause I’m tired of the fake love,
show me what you’re made of
Boy, make me believe

She’s been hurt by men who took no responsibility. Fake love. Now she daydreams of true love. But sadly, and semi-amusingly, she wakes up alone at the end of the video clip. Freedom has its price.

What Bebe Rexha wants is a double paradox – a true lover who takes responsibility, but gives her freedom at the same time. But who can possibly give us this?

Well, this is exactly what Jesus promises us. He will take responsibility for our destiny, but at the same time, he promises us freedom.

The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free.
(Luke 4:18)

Our destiny, hope, and dreams are secure in Jesus. And yet, at the same time, he sets us free to be everything we were created to be.

Just as it was meant to be.

Luke 4:18

Article supplied with thanks to Espresso Theology.

About the Author: Sam is a theologian, preacher, author, evangelist, ethicist, cultural analyst and medical doctor.