Dying To Self

On the way to church the other day I looked inside my music folder to see what we were singing and found one of my least favorite songs. The tune is catchy and upbeat, but the lyrics leave a lot to be desired. When we practiced it before church, I could hear God laughing at me and saying, “Really sets your teeth on edge, doesn’t it? Sorry, kid, the imagery that annoys you is just what one of my other kids needs. Get over it, girl.”

It’s exactly what I would have said to one of my kids.

He’s been working on this for a while. I never saw myself as selfish until a couple years ago, when God starting showing me what my selfishness looks like. It’s an opinion about a song and wishing we could take it out of our library. It’s insisting on a particular meeting spot because it’s slightly more convenient to my schedule. It’s wishing we could change a meeting night because it’s the least convenient for me, never mind how it works for the other 25 people. They seem innocuous, but what if my changed actions minister to someone? Or, on the flip side, what if I’m stubborn and come across as the hypocritical church lady? There’s a stereotype I never want to have.

Sometimes we have to realize that because something annoys us doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value. I have a hard time reading the epistles because of Paul’s syntax. Frankly, he’s very wordy, and I find myself wishing he would get to the point. His teaching is amazing, though, and I have to remind myself constantly that what I see as extra words are there for a reason. I don’t need to know what it is. Some things we just have to wait until Heaven to find out. That alone makes me look forward to Heaven. Do you think Paul actually talks like he writes? It’s a little mind blowing to think about smiling and nodding politely over a perfect latte with the man who brought Christ to the gentiles. It’s even more mind blowing to think that he’s the reason I’m one of God’s kids ’cause there’s not a drop of Jewish blood in my veins!

I have been making a concerted effort never to let what I think of a song show on my face when I sing it. God likes all the songs and I feel like if I roll my eyes at lyrics I think are silly, I’m telling God He doesn’t know what good music is. It’s my offering to God first, a little tiny ministry all my own second. If God can speak to the downtrodden and broken hearted through my harmony, it’s all good, so long as they realize that the vessel has a long way to go to be perfect. Lucky for me, God already knows that and lets me stay around anyway.

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4 comments on “Dying To Self

  1. Joy Boots says:

    “Ditto” and Bravo!!! This is a big step for anyone! I need to take it seriously too. Remember when I told you kids “Never eat the last pice of anything because I would be upset if I went to get some and it was gone?? Food could rot before anyone would take that last piece. Well, come over anytime and help yourself, Honey!

    Love, Mom

  2. Jean says:

    Joy, you are so right. Sometimes we just have to ask, “Hey, does anyone else want any of this?” If they don’t, we need to feel okay to just finish it off. If they do, we can share the last bit.

    As far as not being the hypocritical church lady or accepting that a message that doesn’t appeal to us is just what someone else needs to hear is so valuable a perspective.

  3. Wendy says:

    Jean, I haven’t come to that perspective on my own. When the Boys were here at Thanksgiving, we were singing another of my least favorite songs and one of the Boys said afterward that it was just what he needed to sing. That was a light bulb moment.

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