Do you ever have a week where you are really feeling drawn to do something but just feel like fighting it? It doesn’t have to be a bad thing, in fact it can be a very good thing… Let’s just say for example, that you have been feeling drawn towards writing a blog post about music, worship, and its effect on our theology, but instead kept trying to find other topics to write about because “no one wants to read an article on worship” … OK fine… We aren’t talking about you here; we are talking about me… While I am not a worship pastor, worship through music is something that is, and always will be, a significant passion in my life. And with that, I have felt burdened recently to dig into why we sing the songs that we sing, and also thinking more about the impact that those songs have on us long term as both people and believers.
The reason this is so important and is something that has been on my heart more and more over the last year or so is the reality of how easily we learn, and remember songs. It truly is fascinating how God has constructed our brains and minds to be able to absorb and retain music so incredibly well. As we are going through the Psalms this summer for our sermon series, I am left thinking that this is a significant reason why we see such a lengthy book of songs in God’s word. God divinely knew that he had created us to love and appreciate music, and that it would speak to us in profound and deep ways. And because of this, it would seem even more important that we really take care of what it is that we listen to.
It’s amazing to me that even ten years after listening to certain very profane and wicked songs in my teen years, I can still remember and recite the lyrics of those songs to this very day, to the beat they were delivered with in the song, without even needing to hear them again (though I won’t due to their vulgarity). Songs are vivid and powerful, in the same way that they can have a negative influence as mentioned above, they also carry with them extremely beneficial results. This is the same reason why kids are taught the alphabet along with a song in their childhood. Songs have the same kind of sticking power as certain images and stories that we remember from our childhood.
With that in mind, it shouldn’t take too much explaining to convey the importance of the words we sing in worship. Worship through music should be filled with deep theological truths. It should be filled with truths that can comfort, correct, heal, encourage, and sustain. While we need to allow for artistic license, we should not allow for bad theology in the songs that we sing! Our music is theology that we take with us everywhere! Make sure that the songs you listen to are worth carrying with you!
Psalm 100 – “Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever his faithfulness continues through all generations!”