As a Christian, I believe our ultimate goal on Earth is to worship God and give him glory.
It sounds pretty boring when you put it that way, but it’s not. There are so many amazing ways we can praise God. We can praise him by picking up trash, recycling, meditating on his word, praying, singing and a thousand things in between, as long as your motivation is right. However, when people think of worshiping God, their first thought is usually of music.
This type of worship has become so prevalent in our culture that if you happen to disagree with what the song says, you are pushed down for being ridiculous.
“I can feel God when I sing it,” they say, “That makes it worth it.”
So call me weird, but I’m that person who looks at the words I’m singing, thinks about how they relate to my life, and see if that’s actually praise to God.
Needless to say, I am very thoughtful in chapel. Now I love the worship bands, and they do a great job, but I completely disagree with most of the songs they sing. Worshiping God should be about us singing to him and telling him how amazing he is. Not us saying “I’ll follow you, I’ll do this for you, I’ll love people”. It’s not about us. One of my favorite praise songs is “How Great is Our God” by Chris Tomlin. It’s all about how great God is and uses “me” and “I” only to say that I’m giving him glory.
Also, praise isn’t a feeling. For many, myself included, we judge how well we praised God, on how good we felt during that song. What does how you feel have to do with whether you actually glorified God or not? Songs have always impacted us on an emotional level. Why else do we have playlists for when we’re happy or depressed? There have been several times during chapel when I’ll feel what I think is God’s presence. I’ll see everyone else around me with their eyes closed and hands raised and I’ll feel so close to God.
I then realize that everyone was singing a different song and I had actually been thinking of what I want for lunch, and yet I felt that feeling I get when I feel close to God. Your body has a funny way of lying to you.
Praising God is what we are meant to do here on Earth, so do it right. Next time you go to chapel or church, think about the words, think about how they apply to your life and wonder if you even understand what you’re singing.