Let’s critically examine the way we worship

Truth in the midst of emotion.

Noticing+the+lyrics+we+casually+sing.

Emma Hester

Noticing the lyrics we casually sing.

Katie Ticas, Guest Writer

There are constantly conflicting messages sung to us about God. For me, it is confusing and frustrating to be at church and chapel and not know or feel confident about the lyrics everyone is singing.

We can listen to so many voices that talk about God, but which is the right one? How do we know we aren’t merely singing together to a catchy tune and acoustic guitar as a little break from our Wednesday morning? Often, that’s what church and chapel feel like to me and others I’ve talked to. 

Over the last few months, I took a step back from some commonly used worship songs and tried to identify what they mean and whether or not they align with Scripture. As Christians, it’s important to give grace to churches and people who enjoy those certain worship songs. 

Practically, this reexamination looks different for everyone. It might involve looking up the meanings and origins for the texts of common worship songs. One blog I find helpful in taking a deeper look is The Berean Test, which analyzes worship songs based on their alignment with Scripture.

This reevaluation might also involve praying during times of worship throughout the song. Asking God to grant us peace when we face conflicting thoughts and feelings is one crucial way to avoid becoming fearful and frustrated.

God has created us to feel a range of emotions. The warm and happy emotions we experience when worshipping together are beautiful and important to cherish, but they aren’t the only takeaway from a worship service. If we make worship an emotion-based experience, we are really just worshipping ourselves. We have to practice declaring the truth about God even when our emotions don’t align with what we proclaim at the moment. 

As humans, we doubt. We harbor bitterness and laziness that can easily cause our feelings about our faith to waver. However, Hebrews 13:8 tells us that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” 

We can trust God because He never changes. We have to remember that our emotions can constantly change and we can easily fall into selfish patterns. We can easily think that our feelings are the ultimate truth, which causes us to believe lies about ourselves and others.

Jesus’ sacrifice frees us from being weighed down by the wounds of this world. Jesus not only understands our pain but He has felt it for us in the same human way we experience emotion. We too often forget that we worship a God who feels our pain. 

One of my favorite contemporary Christian songs is “Your Grace is Enough.” In it, the lyrics state, “Great is your faithfulness, Oh God/ You wrestle with the sinner’s restless heart.” 

I love these lines because it speaks to how much we waver. James said that we, as humans, can be “like waves of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind” (1:6) when we doubt God’s power. But Jesus welcomes us to discover the truth: He accepts us despite our tendency to doubt Him and He wants us to be close to Him in worship. 

It’s important to acknowledge that the motivation behind the worship songs are in good character. Many popular Christian songs do not intentionally try to lead people astray and do not maliciously try to convince you to believe a lie about God. We must not start accepting the words of Christian music as our truth, but instead take a step back and turn to Scripture to tell us the truth about God.

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Opinions expressed in letters and other editorials, unless otherwise stated, are those of the writers and not of The Horizon staff or the college collectively.

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