Saturday, July 17, 2010

More musings on worship songs

Last week an article I co-wrote about some of the things we say to God in worship songs was published on The article was largely satirical but I hope it got people thinking about what they sing. It is very easy to get swept up by the catchy melodies and moving music and as a result sing rather mindlessly. It is easy to be singing on auto-piliot because we have heard the songs so many times before.

Often we sing songs that express big commitments and total dedication to God. He is surely worthy of all of our lives, hearts and dedication. If I’m honest with myself though, I often don’t live up to what I sing. Sometimes I struggle to give God little things, let alone the big things the songs promise. Sometimes I sing about Jesus being my everything but I know my heart is all to easily captivated by things other than God. It can kinda feel like I am lying to God. Don’t get me wrong, I love God and want to get better honouring him, I just don’t have it all together yet. Because I don’t have it all together (and probably won’t at any time this side of heaven) I have mixed feelings on whether I should sing or not sing the songs. I doubt I am alone in struggling with what I sing in church sometimes being different to my reality.

We can find hope in the fact that Christianity is not about us living up to the standards in our songs- or any other standard for that matter. It is all about what Jesus has done for us. Jesus didn’t wait for us to reach some super level of holiness and dedication before he loved us and gave himself up for us- he did it while we were still sinners deep in rebellion (Romans 5:6-8) What we’ve done might not be worth singing about, but what Jesus has done certainly is. Certainly we should strive for holiness, but out of gratitude that Jesus was perfectly holy on our behalf. How well I’m doing might change from day to day, week to week, but God does not change. That’s a very comforting thought sometimes.

So think about what you sing, but don’t let your thinking drive you to despair at your failure to measure up. Instead, use it as a chance to repent where needed and be thankful that Jesus is more than enough for you.