May 15, 2004
Dear Lord, people do want to praise You. And I think we've made "performing music" the way to do it. But then we make these rules about how only talented people can perform. Okay, I know we say they aren't performing, so maybe that is the wrong word. But what other visible, significant, fulfilling ways do we offer people to make them feel that they are praising and worshiping You?
I know we all have gifts and they are all necessary and useful, equally in Your sight, but maybe not equally in our sight. So yes, it's our problem... but how can we fix it? If a "non-musical" person wants to publicly praise the Lord, how do they do that in a significant way? We have room for music in our celebrations, and preaching, but what about other ways? Yes, we say that non-public expressions are just as valuable, but how do we make that a reality, Lord?
And why do we say that people should be willing to step into and try all kinds of other things even if they aren't talented, but we make music a special category all its own and decide who is "good enough." Why are we so "proud" about our music that we can't bear, in love, to let someone share their praises to God, even while they have a squawky voice? I guess we do this with preaching too, but I'm not sure it's to the same degree. People love to sing. The Bible says "make a joyful noise." And yet, even in the Old Testament, certain people were given the responsibility to lead (and, apparently, were given the talent by God, even if it was hereditary?)
Lord, I fear that all my arguments about this maybe actually boil down to my own personal hurts about music over the years, starting back when I was a "second-rate citizen" and only allowed to read a few scripture verses between songs at youth performances at church (though unmusical non-Christians were joyfully welcomed to sing...). And then other incidents. Lord, I do still harbor resentment. Oh Lord, please forgive me, and help me to make it right.
I know, Lord, that I have had a major problem wanting attention and approval, and I do believe that You know I am not ready to do it with a pure heart.
Oh dear God, please forgive me for my attitude. Please keep humbling me until I am willing to do whatever You want me to do, for Your glory only, not for mine even one tiny bit. I'm so sorry, Lord. Help me, please.
I love You, Lord. I love You. Thank You for loving me no matter how much I mess up, and for seeing something good and special in me, even though I fail You so often. Thank You for the perfect holiness You have provided through the precious blood of Your Son, Jesus. Thank You that You did pay the debt of sin that I could never pay. Hallenlujah! Amen. Thank You, Jesus.