Singing Honestly

worship singingIn a round about way, I suppose this could be a follow up on this post here where I asked if professional quality bands were necessary for good worship. Needless to say, the focus was on how we sing, not so much what we sing.

But that naturally leads to question about what we sing. How much do lyrics matter? Well, I’m kind of musing here though I suspect it might come across as nitpicking music. But I noticed some contrasts that really made me take note about what we sing.

As I was driving into work the other day, radio off doing my usual morning drive – thinking, praying, singing, I started to sing this old Hillsong tune that we played quite often back in my Charismatic worship team days

Lord I give you my heart, I give you my soul

I live for you alone

Every breath that I take, every morning I’m awake

Lord, have your way in me

I stopped singing. My first thought was ‘how dishonest’. While I do desire to honor the Lord in all I do, the reality is that I fall short often. I don’t always give my heart and soul nor do I live for God alone. I squeeze in me, more or less. Of course, my goal is to love the Lord with all my heart, mind and strength and love my neighbor as myself. But really, I don’t fully or consistently.

I immediately thought of Come Thou Fount, and particularly this line

Prone to wander, Lord I feel it

Prone to leave the God I love

Here’s my heart Lord, take and seal it

Seal it for thy courts above

Now you’re talking. That’s my reality – prone to wander, distracted, self-absorbed, navel gazing. I don’t think it helps to sing all these wonderful things that I do, that I really don’t do, though I strive to do. In fact, the more I thought about it, I couldn’t help but think that not only were the lyrics dishonest but also a bit arrogant. I mean, think about it. It’s all about what I do for the Lord. Look at how much I’m giving you Lord. Look at how much every minute of the day is instead of what the Lord has done for me. (I also don’t like singing I Surrender All for this very same reason). I surely do have it together for you, Lord. Singing about what I do for the Lord is not worshiping the Lord, its worshiping me.

Saying that I give all to the Lord will not encourage me to give all to the Lord. What will fuel my affection for him is focusing on him and not me. My motivation to give all is remembering what he did for and that it is only by his grace that I have any disposition towards him. That is what will encourage my affection. The honesty of Come Thou Fount also make me realize that I need help and I need to be honest to the Lord about that. I am a rebel and want my own way. But it is in my weakness, that I cry out for strength, to enable me to comply with his standards and set my affection on things above (Col 3:1)

Again, my point here was not to pick apart a song, only to illustrate how what we sing matters.

 

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About Lisa Robinson

Servant of Christ, DTS Grad, member of Town North Presbyterian Church (PCA), non-profit professional, anti-poverty advocate, writer, thinker, explorer of ethnic food, lover of good coffee and a good laugh.
This entry was posted in Christian living, music and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Singing Honestly

  1. Laura says:

    We think alike Lisa on so many things. I shared some similar thoughts in a post I wrote back in 2011. Yes, some lyrics are very dishonest! It just contributes to hypocrisy and self-deception. http://lightenough.wordpress.com/2011/02/10/do-you-have-a-god-centered-or-man-centered-focus-part-one/

  2. LaTika T. says:

    I totally get what you are saying! Makes complete sense to me.

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