I came across an excellent article recently that was written by Paul Sain, and I'd like to share the essence of it with you today. I've made some formatting changes and more fully elaborated upon his points. Let me exhort you to seriously contemplate the words below.
Singing is a grand and encouraging privilege of the child of God. The first century church sang (cf. Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16). Paul and Silas sang even when in prison (cf. Acts 16:25). The New Testament does not authorize choirs, quartets, praise team leaders, etc. for worship. The Bible instructs us to sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs--offering praise unto our Father.
A word of caution, though, is in order. It is so easy to sing a lie. We must be careful what we sing, and always speak the truth. Please allow me to illustrate this matter by considering the titles of some songs we often sing:
- "I Want To Be A Worker For The Lord." If we are not involved currently or perhaps have never lifted our little finger in "working" for the Master, are we not lying as we sing?
- "I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord." If we fail to attend worship services when we could, if we neglect to give generously to the Lord, if we are lazy in our prayers, and if we do little if anything to personally spread the "good news" by teaching others, are we not lying as we sing?
- "O To Be Like Thee." If this is not our constant longing and prayer, and if we would not gladly forfeit all of earth's treasures, are we not lying as we sing?
- "I Love To Tell The Story." If we claim to love to tell the story, but rarely if ever tell it, are we not lying as we sing?
- "I Am Resolved." If we resolve no longer to linger (as the invitation is sung), and we fail to respond when we should, are we not lying as we sing?
- "I'd Rather Have Jesus." If we affirm that we'd rather have Jesus than silver, gold, riches untold, houses, or lands, yet we work harder for these things than for Christ and His church, are we not lying as we sing?
There is certainly nothing wrong with the above songs. We should sing them, but only if we mean them! It is just as wrong to sing a lie as it is to speak it! The solution is not found in refraining to sing these songs, but in fashioning our lives appropriately.
There are other excellent songs, however, that are true and will always be true whenever we sing them. For example:
- "Into Our Hands." The gospel has been given into our hands. This is true whether we're doing anything about it or not. Let us faithfully carry God's precious message to any and to all.
- "Farther Along." Farther along we will know all about it, and we will understand why. But, tragically, it will be too late for so many.
- "Why Did My Savior Come To Earth?" The answer is so beautifully simple: because He loved me so!
- "Count Your Blessings." If we were to name every blessing one by one, we would be amazed at all the Lord has done for us.
- "Our God, He Is Alive." He is alive and well, regardless of what we believe or do. From dust our God created man. He is still (and will always be) the Great I AM!
There are plenty of other examples we could cite, but you get the idea. Dear friends, may we never minimize the benefit and value of singing. Do not neglect the privilege and honor of blending your voice with the family of God and praising our Father in Heaven. But, please make sure you are speaking the truth! Listen to the message of the song, make certain it reflects your thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs. If we will become the person God wants us to be, we will always sing the truth!