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Singing Songs We Don’t Really Mean

August 28th, 2009 · No Comments · Worship

Have you ever…

  • sung “I Surrender All” while holding back areas of your life from God’s control?
  • sung “Bind Us Together” while holding a grudge against another Christian?
  • sung “Amazing Grace” while deep down inside having more legalistic tendencies than grace-filled ones? [Amazing to me that this is one of the favorites of congregations that espouse extreme legalistic viewpoints and doctrine]
  • sung “Abide With Me” but were more likely to invite the world into your weekly routine than God?
  • stood to sing “I Stand in Awe of You” but inside really lacked awe and wonder at the amazing nature of what God has done for us through Christ Jesus?
  • sung “As the Deer” with little actual desire for God in your heart?
  • sung “Be Still My Soul” but actual revel and thrive in a life of tension, chaos, and disorder?
  • sung “God’s Family” but had a divisive and contentious spirit toward others in the congregation…maybe were even fueling a split that was about to take place?
  • sung “Ring out the Message” but haven’t told someone about Jesus in as long as you can remember?
  • sung “There’s Power in the Blood” but had a hard time actually feeling forgiven?

We all have these areas of our life that are in conflict with our outward actions, words, and even praise. We get caught up in singing the right notes, at the right pitch, and the correct tempo but how often do we reflect on the applicability of our song to what we are dealing with in our lives? Are we just going through the motions or do we mean what we sing?

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  • Tim Archer

    I took a less serious look at this a while back:

    https://www.timothyarcher.com/kitchen/?p=1441

    I do think it’s a serious topic, though. Too often songs are taken lightly. (Why do we feel it’s okay to run up and whisper something to the preacher during a song, but not during a prayer?) We need to think about what we are saying.

    Makes it a little scary to sing “Make me a servant, do what you must do…”

    Grace and peace,
    Tim Archer

  • Lydia

    Wow… it is so ironic that you would post this. I just heard an AMAZING speaker preach on almost the same thing on Wednesday night!

  • Keith Brenton

    “Take My Life and Let it Be” – That’s actually got a verse that says “Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold.”

    Ouch ouch ouch.

  • wjcsydney

    Matt, I’m just amazed at the folk who believe that the only Christians are those who were baptised as believing adults but sing Amazing Grace, written by Newton who was sprinkled as a baby.

  • Hank

    Great post Matt. Maybe those who lead songs should regularly ask their congragations those same questions?

    The only Christians are those who by faith were baptized (immersed) into Christ — regardless of whatever songs one may have written and/or sung.

    • mattdabbs

      Never hurts to get more focused. One way I have seen this done is for a sermon to include a few songs that make the point of the preaching…they compliment each other and we begin to think about the songs we sing.

  • wjcsydney

    Hank, so why do churches sing Amazing Grace then? If John Newton doesn’t fit your definition of a true Christian?

    • mattdabbs

      Do we assume we know the theology of those who wrote all 1000+ songs in the average hymnal? Do we have to agree with every single belief of every author in order for the song to be sung in assemblies? If so I guess we better just start from scratch because many of them are dead and gone so we can’t find out what they believe on each and every doctrine. Starting from scratch we could make sure we agree 100% with the new people writing the songs…right? 😉

  • K. Rex Butts

    There have definitely been times where I sing the words to song with my mouth but not with my heart, my life, my all.

    However, it was in a HUGSR chapel as I was struggling to understand the loss of my son, when I first heard “Be Still, My Soul” Between that song and “Abide With Me”, neither song can I sing without cying.

    Grace and peace,

    Rex

  • Roger Butner

    Wait a minute – you mean these AREN’T The Days Of Elijah?!?

    Actually, I appreciate your post very much, Matt. Excellent challenge that hits a lot of us hard at times, I’m sure. In fact, for anyone still stinging from your rebuke, I highly recommend Dallas Willard’s book, “Spirit of the Disciplines.”

  • CarolinaGirl

    So true.

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  • Jeremy Schopper

    Great thoughts Matt. That topic has been on my heart and mind a lot lately. I have been so guilty of singing the same songs over and over, never realizing that I am singing them to God. Needless to say, there’s certainly been times that He has not been pleased with my worship.

    If it’s alright, i might borrow some of your thoughts and work those into a lesson.

    Jeremy Schopper
    jeremyschopper.blogspot.com

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