What we sing is significant…

I was recently challenged in a writing community group to write a 250 word piece on the topic ‘The Songs We Sing”. Here is my short reflection, if you’re interested…

The words that leave our mouths as we sing to God are significant. Our words are the brushes that paint a picture of praise for the world to see and hear as our voices rise as one. The words we sing are powerful because they can convict, they can comfort and they can be used by God, through a work of His Spirit, to convert. The words that leave our mouths as we sing to God are significant.

So why are we content to paddle in the shallows of the deep waters?! Why are our churches full of happy songs of praise, yet little is sung of repentance. Why are we content to sing endless praise, yet leave no room for lament and cries of pain. Surely we know that the Lord listens to both the rejoicing and the suffering, therefore, let the words that we sing reflect the reality of our lives. Sing the words that ring true in your time. If darkness is your closest friend, cry out in agony at the apparent silence from Heaven, but cling to the truth that God saves. Let the words of Scripture determine our words of praise and the songs that we sing.

The words that we sing are powerful and give voice to our hearts in times of struggle, of pain and of need. Let’s not be content to sing only joyous melodies but let’s sing the reality of life; that we’re broken, living in a sinful world and crying for the Lord to return.

3 thoughts on “What we sing is significant…

  1. any suggestions of actual songs you would like to see us singing – I am always open to ideas as play the organ in our church!


  2. I think part of the challenge here is that these things get very personal, which is difficult for two reasons: we don’t like actually revealing what is going on inside and also at any time it will be very different for every person in the church – some will be mourning, some rejoicing. There are things that would be appropriate to sing in private worship that would not be appropriate in a corporate setting.

    Having said that, there are many songs and hymns that do begin to plumb the depths: For the joys and for the sorrows, Blessed be your name, When peace like a river, Come Thou fount (prone to wander…). One of my favourites, which we don’t sing often, is “O for a closer walk with God”.

    Also, often what we need most when we are struggling is to declare how great God is, but the last thing we need is to be encouraged to lie and declare “And now I am happy all the day”.

    There was a very interesting conversation between Eugene Peterson and Bono on the Psalms which deals with these things: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-l40S5e90KY

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful words. We cry out to the Lord and sing scriptures back to Him. I quite often can’t sing in church because the lyrics sound great but don’t reflect what I believe to be true. (Above All is a perfect example. I love everything about that song except – “You took the fall and thought of me above all”. It could easily say “You took the fall for You are God above all. Instead the whole song focuses on me and not the Lord).


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