A.W. Tozer once said, “Christians don’t tell lies – they go to church and sing them.”
Like you, the phrase caught me off guard. But when given to deeper thought, I realized it was true.
Let’s start with the basics. A popular verse found in many Christian songs is, “I lift my hands and I sing.” (If I cited that, I would run out of room on this post.)
I know I’ve never once had my hands in the air as I sang that verse.
Oh, we can justify it all we want by saying things like, “But it’s my heart that I’m lifting up.”
Bull. God knows the difference between your heart and your hands. He also knows the difference between security and insecurity.
What about song verses like, “I lay it all down for You.”
There aren’t many times I’ve repented from things after singing songs that make those bold statements. In fact, not sure if I ever have.
Here’s the thing. We’re so concerned with looking spiritual, we’re willing to live lies in order to come across as having it all together.
Not trying to toot my own horn here, but I don’t have it all together. In fact, I’m a mess. A spiritual, emotional, (sometimes) physical mess!
There are two types of places I’ve worked at. One was corporate. The other local.
In the corporate setting, these managers did everything right and by the book. They checked and double-checked everything off their lists that they were supposed to do. They dressed properly, they blushed if they cursed, they obeyed the rules.
Until they thought no one was looking.
First, they gossiped. (That’s how I learned about all the rules they broke on a daily basis.) Online shopping on the clock, not clocking off for lunch, “borrowing” some cash from store funds, engaging in inappropriate affairs with their employees, passing their jobs off to others, shirking duties, and the list goes on.
But you’d never know it by talking to them.
Then I’ve worked for a local place, where the “corporate office” isn’t but half a rung higher than the managers on the proverbial ladder.
These guys smoke weed, curse like sailors, cheat on their taxes, and I’d not doubt for a minute that a handful of them served time.
But you know which group I like better? That’s right – this right-winged fundamentalist Christian would much rather hang out with the rap-popping, weed-smoking, beer-happy “sinners” than the uptight, stiff-necked, hypocrites of the corporate place I worked for.
Why? Because at least these rough necks aren’t hiding anything.
They’re unashamed: “Here I am; take it or leave it… foo’!”
These guys are easier to witness to. They’re not going to get all over you for being politically incorrect or cry foul to the boss because you offended them. They might not admit they need help or change in their lives, but they’re also not likely to say nothing’s wrong with them and that every thing’s fine.
But I tell you. I’m such a mess myself. I do lie every time I sing, “I give You my all,” because honestly, I don’t. I just don’t give Jesus my all. That hasn’t happened before.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t worship. I’m not berating you for singing such songs, and declaring such promises. I’m just at a point in my life where I feel dishonest singing them.
I need to get to a place where I am actually doing such things as “giving my all,” and “taking up my cross,” and being brave enough to raise my hands (only for the attention of God), and then I’ll have a better, more honest, transparent worship time.
Then maybe it will make it easier for Jesus to come minister to me. Heaven knows I’m such a mess that I need it.