When I Sing Those Songs, I Lie To God
I’m in the midst of a 12-day blog retrospective, in which I’m highlighting some of my favorite posts of this year. In May, I started what ended up being a month-long series on worship, lament, and honesty. This post, titled “How To Stop Lying in Church,” kicked things off.
You are my strength when I am weak
You are the treasure that I seek
You are my all in all
Seeking you as a precious jewel
Lord to give up I’d be a fool
You are my all in all
We sing this song fairly often when we get together with other Christians. Many of the phrases come right out of the Bible, the message is sound — that God is worth more than anything else, etc etc etc.
But I can’t sing it.
I can confess with my mouth what it implies about God — that God is a source of strength, that He is worthy of being sought and found, and that He is of infinite worth.
But this song, like many others, doesn’t praise God for those things. This song puts those attributes of God into statements about where He fits into my own life that aren’t true. Not all the time, anyway. Not even most of the time.
I have fleeting moments when I can see the world and my life for the temporary things that they are. But those moments are just that… fleeting.
The rest of the time, I want what I want. I am my all in all. The treasure that I seek is all that stuff out there. On any given day, it might be fame or influence or furniture or clothes or gadgets or cars or more money or more time or more sleep or tasty food or decadent dessert. Sometimes, I recognize that I’m my all in all in that moment and I wrestle with myself. Sometimes I fight to quench my insatiable coveting appetite.
But sometimes, God isn’t even on my radar. There is no fight to get my priorities straight because I just don’t care. Too many days, life is all about me.
So how dare I stand up before God and everyone and lie as I sing, “You are my all in all”?
I don’t. I don’t dare do it.
Some days, I just don’t sing at all. I pray while everyone else sings, confessing to God that this isn’t true of me, that sometimes I don’t care if it’s true of me, and that I need His help.
Sometimes, I change the words. For example, I might sing “You should be my all in all.”
Sometimes, I only sing the lines that I can, and stand silent for the lines that I can’t.
What do you do when the songs or readings have you making untrue statements about God’s position in your life? Do you even notice?
(Don’t miss the remaining posts in this series on worship: How Happy Songs Hurt, Without Lament We Lie About God, Hypocrisy 101 – Five Tips for Worship Leaders, Leading People Into Honest Worship – 5 Tips part 2, and Worship Series Epilogue: If We Sing What We Really Mean)