“Killing Bono” is the personal story of Neil McCormick who went to high school with the members of the band, U2. He also wanted to be a rock star but could never quite make it in the music scene. Every time it looked like the big break was coming, McCormick would run into a brick wall.
He eventually became a writer, and a very good one at that. He became the pop/rock critic at The Telegraph with over a million weekly readers. He is a regular on BBC and has spent time with the biggest music stars on the planet. But in the telling moment in the book, he confesses to his friend, Bono, “I still feel like a failure.”
After all that he had accomplished and he feels like a failure.
Bono was living his dream. His deepest desire was to be a rock star. And over time that dream died a thousand deaths. What was the emotional fallout? For McCormick, his envy turned into a deadly comparison between his life and Bono’s.
Even Bono’s love for God drove him crazy. At one point, Bono told him that there was a hole in his life that can only be filled with the love of God. Instead, McCormick sought to fill that hole with the love of adoring fans.
Each of us are just is like McCormick with a hole in our hearts. Each of us wants to have a purpose and meaning to our lives. This is the way were were created. We often look for something else to fill that hole – relationships, money, pleasure, sex, food and drink – anything to make us feel good and worthy. But our Creator has made us to only find satisfaction in him.
And when those other things are taken away – you better watch out! Murder is just around the corner – probably not real murder but murder in our hearts by the one who blocks the path to our personal happiness.
This is what Jesus is condemns in Matthew 5:21 –
But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgement; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.
Why is the angry person in danger of judgement? Why is he danger of hell? Because the anger we express reveals the passion of our hearts. When someone blocks whatever it is that we are seeking to gain pleasure and significance from, the tendency of our hearts is to lash out in anger. Usually emotionally, sometimes verbally and on rare occasions physically. In the mind of Neil McCormick, Bono had blocked his path to success and the envy turned to anger.
The root of bitterness is cut when our lives are resting on the knowledge that we are loved completely by God because of what Jesus has done on the cross. There is truly no other way forward.
Is it time to stop killing the Bono in your life?