“You sure missed a bunch of notes on that song?” said a gruff sounding woman at church the other day. I turned to see who she was talking to and discovered an embarrassed teenage boy. I immediately prayed for two things, first that God would shut her big mouth, and second that the young man wouldn’t take what she was saying as criticism and stop singing. I have no doubt that the Lord loves hearing this young man sing (missed notes and all).
When will we learn that God is more concerned with singing that comes from the right heart than singing that hits all the right notes.
Even the singer James Brown was criticized for not hitting all the right notes, but no on ever questioned his heart. He sang with his heart. I don’t imagine anyone ever left a sold out James Brown concert saying, “I just don’t think he meant it.” He sang from the heart.
If the heart isn’t involved in the singing, it’s nothing more that just some words, even if you hit all the right notes. But when you use your heart, it’s really SINGING and praise to God. That’s what God really wants.
Sometime it’s easy to forget that it’s not about how I sound on the outside, but how I sound on the inside. My dad understands this better than most because he knows how to really sing. He’ll be the first to tell you that he can’t carry a tune in a bucket. I beg to differ with my dad on this, I’ve painfully sat next to him in church many times when he’s singing. Not only can he not carry a tune in a bucket, he can’t even find the bucket to carry a tune in! But understand this … that doesn’t stop him from singing. And sing he does. To God he sings beautifully, and God is glorified not by how it sounds coming out of his mouth, but what’s coming from his heart.
We must engage the heart …
- It’s the heart that matters in my worship.
- It’s the heart that matters in my relationship with God.
- It’s the heart that matters in my marriage.
- It’s the heart that matters in everything I do.
Besides, those of us who can carry a tune may be really surprised someday when we get to heaven and God tells us that people like my dad and this teenage boy have been the ones doing the singing right all along.
“…sing and make music in your heart to the Lord…” ~ Ephesians 5:19