How To Sing When You Don’t Like The Music?
The reality is that every church will be filled with people with a variety of preferences, different degrees of wisdom, and personal convictions and it’s hard for them to sing when they don’t like the song for one of those reasons. I’d like to address the issue of preference. It might be surprising but I’m happy to admit that there is a percentage of songs we sing on Sundays mornings that I don’t necessarily care for or prefer musically. I imagine that is the case in your experience, so it begs the question, how do we sing whole heartedly when we don’t love the music? How do we sing with conviction when we don't prefer the music itself?
Recently, I was at a worship conference and a funny thing happened. They shared a song which was new to me and I didn’t much care for the melody. However, the song captivated my mind and my emotions. The truth about the righteousness of Christ securing our salvation deeply impacted me. So I thought, "this is a song worth singing with conviction." Although I could not grab the melody right away, I thought, “Why can’t I just sing as I would preach? Sing with conviction Chris!” and so I sang with conviction, wrong notes and all. Why?
- Because God is worthy of our obedience (Eph. 5:19, Col. 3:16). If it’s truthful and biblical, God commands us to sing it to the Lord with all our might. This is part of that great verse “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength”.
- Because we love our brothers and sisters in Christ! As we joyfully obey the “singing to one another” clause in both Col. 3:16 and Eph. 5:19, we encourage and remind each other of great biblical truths as we sing together. The reality is that once the congregational service has begun, the singing is the one time we corporately and vocally express truth and practice Hebrews 10:24-25 “and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” It's a shame if we miss out on that unique opportunity to love and encourage each other in Christ by focusing on our own selfish preferences.
- Because God is worthy of the first fruits of our conviction! The definition of conviction is, “a firmly held belief, the quality of showing that one is firmly convinced of what one believes or says.” Even if I don’t love the music, or prefer the tradition, God is still worthy of deep conviction in my singing. What does that look like? Well some of us are perhaps more expressive than others, and I agree that it may look different for different people. However I would challenge myself and you to consider the times in our lives that we have shown or expressed conviction in our comments or statements. Perhaps it was when we saw a new product and wanted to tell others how well it worked for us. We got animated or we shared a post on social media. Perhaps it was at a sports event where we were cheering on our team and we proudly wore our jersey that whole week! Perhaps it’s the strength of our political arguments, the deep conviction about which direction we think our country should go in. I think God expects us, as His redeemed and thankful bride, to give to Him the first fruits of that deep conviction in our worship! Even if we don't care of the music.
So although you may not have a role in selecting the music played at your church on Sunday’s, you can choose to sing with conviction. You may not like the music, I’ve been there and am there at times. However, we can give glory to God as we joyfully participate in His worship! So sing to Him! Sing to one another! Sing as you would preach! Sing with conviction!