Posted by: musingsofthemund | March 5, 2012

Disingenuous

[I wrote this a week or two ago and things are changing for the better, but I still think this was worth sharing, so here it is. I hope and pray you’re blessed and challenged. Stay tuned for more posts on the subject of worship soon!]

I feel like I’ve been having a pretty difficult time connecting with God lately. It’s been rather frustrating to me. I try to pray or read scripture or worship and it largely feels like I’m just going through the motions, checking off the box or something. I think where I’ve noticed this most is in the area of worship. I just haven’t felt much in worship lately. I find myself distracted and having to work extra hard to even focus on/pay attention to what I’m singing, much less worship in a meaningful way…

Of course, interpreting worship through the lens of feeling has always been a little sketchy to me. As though my getting something out of it were the goal, which it isn’t. Or at least it shouldn’t be. The last thing worship is supposed to be about is ourselves, isn’t it? Don’t get me wrong, I think God blesses us by meeting us in worship, but I don’t think the goal of going to worship should be to achieve a certain feeling or to get something out of it ourselves. That should simply be a perk.

And yet, I’m trying to judge my worship on what I’m feeling. Go figure. Of course, this is only part of what I really want to talk about. In the midst of this drier sort of time, I’ve been contemplating the worship experience and I’m beginning to have some concerns.

First, and foremost, I believe God is worthy and deserving of our praise and thanksgiving. What I am about to say is in no way meant to undermine that basic truth. I just have this feeling sometimes that our worship is a little disingenuous. I think we sometimes miss the point and worse, I think we don’t always pay enough attention to what we are singing. Instead of just singing along to a catchy tune, shouldn’t we be aware of what we are saying? It seems to me that our worship ought to reflect our lives. Should we sing about things we aren’t living out?

For instance, there’s a Chris Tomlin song we sing at church sometimes, “I Will Follow”. We sing
“Where you go, I’ll go,
where you stay, I’ll stay
when you move, I’ll move
I will follow you
who you love, I’ll love,
how you serve, I’ll serve
if this life I lose, I will follow you
I will follow you”

It’s a pretty good song, catchy and fun to sing, but how many people are singing it truthfully? What if you’re at a stage or season in your life/walk where you really aren’t willing to go where He goes or serve who and how He serves? If you sing this, is it true worship? Or is it merely petty lip service?

I find myself straddling a fine line somewhere between the burden of a legalistic “you must do this to have and follow Christ” sort of attitude and a purposeless “I have grace and have been saved and therefore don’t need to do anything” attitude. I’m not sure that either is completely right, although I have a hard time viewing some of the things Jesus said without falling into the former. The truth is, I haven’t figured it all out yet, but I really have to question if we mean all the things we sing in worship. And if we understand that the point of worship isn’t singing songs so that we can experience some emotional God-high and feel good, but so we can tell God how awesome and good and wonderful He is.

That’s why I have a hard time sometimes with the notion of people “just not being able to get into worship”. ‘It’s just not my style,’ or ‘I just wasn’t feeling it’. Part of me wants to just pull people aside when they say things like this and say Hey! It’s not about you! Of course, in spite of my feeling that way about the subject, it doesn’t always change the feeling inside of me that yearns for that special sort of encounter-with-God-during-worship experience.

Go figure.

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Responses

  1. This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes, “Christians don’t tell lies, they just go to church and sing them” -A.W. Tozer. Such a relevant topic and raw, thanks for your transparency, definitely have battled with this and been convicted during worship of my own disingenuousness. Glad to hear things are changing for the better.

    • Haha, wow, that’s a great quote. Definitely strikes ya right in the heart. It makes me cringe how accurate it can be.


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