Sometimes I wonder what my worship looks like to others. We live in a world where we constantly compare ourselves to others or try to keep up with the Jones’. I imagine if we are honest with ourselves, we have all judged others “way” of worshipping at some point. I got to thinking about this when I saw this clip by Tim Hawkins. He’s a funny guy and he did this bit on people in worship.
Did that make you smile? Good, because you know what, sometimes a smile is all you are going to get out of someone in worship. And that is OK!
Honestly, I’m not a hand raiser. In fact, I’m barely a hand clapper…which is ironic since I’m a music teacher and I’m quite good at keeping a steady beat. I’m more of just a “standthereandtakeitallin” kind of worshipper. I love listening to the music and singing along – with my hands at my sides. I love listening to my husband preach – while trying to keep the red in my cheeks from elevating as I wonder, “Why did he share that?”. And I do this while never once nodding my head up and down in agreement, letting out an Amen, or feeling the pressure to.
Remember I just said I sing with my hands at my sides? Well really, my favorite way to worship with music is when my little girl lets me hold her and she rests her head on my shoulder and I hear her singing along. Or, when my son, who sings with so much gusto (on pitch thank you very much), pulls my arms around his neck and holds them. It’s then that I can feel his vocal cords vibrating and I’m amazed that God has given my these beautiful children. My worship continues when I look at my other two sons, stone faced, slouchy, and totally bored. It’s ok, that’s how they worship and I know they are listening, but they would probably prefer if the whole worship experience included a video game battle or came in four quarters.
You see, God created us all as individuals. Isaiah 64:8 says, “Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” He made us, with HIS hands. He knows how we will worship and whether our worship is genuine. Let’s face it, anyone can raise their hands to “fit in” with everyone else, but if it’s not you, then it’s not really a genuine act of worship. Trying to keep up with everyone else is exhausting. You don’t have to do it.
So, the next time you gather for worship, don’t judge others and consider your worship supreme to those around you. Maybe that person sitting down is weary from a long night or illness and it took everything to get there. Maybe the mom running around after her kid doesn’t care what you think about her child’s behavior and how it is “interrupting” your worship because it took five years of trying to get a little one to run after. Maybe that man in front of you never sings a word, but inside his heart is bursting with song, however somewhere along the line a buddy told him he sounded awful and so now he doesn’t open his mouth. Maybe we all just need to remember that in the end, worship isn’t about us. It’s about God. It’s about His son, Jesus who could be doing a whole song and dance in front of you trying to get your attention, but we just don’t see it because we are so worried about what others see us doing and we want to fit in.
The answer to, “Is your worship better than mine?” is no. And mine isn’t better than yours. What matters is that we take the time to worship God in the way He has enabled us to and then to share that love and reason we worship with others.