Putting God and Worship in our own boxes

I get very tired of people’s notions that worship is about self-gratification. Worship is about worshiping God. It’s not really about what songs uplift us, what styles suit our tastes, what seems more progressive, traditional, contemporary, fill-in-the-blank. Worship is about God. I know it’s also kind of about us because we are His children and we are the ones worshiping Him. But it’s only about us bringing Him glory and Him condescending enough to actually respond to our worship and communicate His love, in turn, to us. It’s about us because it’s about relationship, yes. But our relationship with Him is about praising Him for eternity.

God is the King of kings, the Creator of the Universe. We’re tiny and insignificant. And yet we try to fit Him into our boxes of what we’d like God to be. We’d like Him to be nicer, so poof, in our minds, He’s nicer now. We’d like Him to be more tolerant, so we go to a church where the pastor paints a picture of a tolerant God in his sermons. Sometimes we’d like Him to be a democrat, maybe a republican; whatever we are, really, will do. Whatever we like. That’s who our God is. Whatever makes us comfortable. Whatever makes our friends comfortable.

But we aren’t supposed to fit God into our lives. He was merciful enough to fit us into His plan. So we should get over ourselves and fall down at His feet. And we should spend less time complaining about worship styles unless our complaint is that our worship is not biblical or glorifying to God. Because that, really, should be our concern.

I do hope this doesn’t come off in an irritated tone, because I am not irritated. Just emphatic.

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So, since my life is pretty boring, I’ve decided to blog a lot lately about some of my thoughts on topics. I used to have a lot more to say about day-to-day life, but things are pretty much the same every day now. Which isn’t something I’m complaining about — it’s just a fact. I’ve turned my thoughts to honesty lately. I’ve been wanting to write a little bit about it for quite some time.

Christian honesty means putting what’s right above what’s polite. By this, I don’t mean that if you think someone has really bad breath and you choose not to tell them to put a tic tac in their mouth, you’re being dishonest. What I mean is that we should not let our own desire to be liked by others determine how honest we choose to be with them. We fear that our honesty might drive others away from us, cause offense, or make us look bad. But Christian honesty calls us to do what’s right above what’s comfortable.

I’ve known people to claim that they are 100% honest in relationships, and become very defensive when their honesty is called into question. I’ve been one of them. But truthfully, anyone who claims that they are always honest has just lied.

I do believe that some people are more honest than others. I think the least honest people are those who also come off as the nicest people. They care about pleasing people more than telling hard truths. This is a struggle that I face.

Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.

I’m not trying to knock nice people — there are some people in existence who really truly just are kindhearted, with hardly a negative remark to say about anything or anybody. Although sometimes these people may not be highly discerning people, their problem isn’t necessarily that they are being continually dishonest and fake with their nice personalities. And the world needs some people like that.

Gossip is a form of dishonesty that people don’t often think about it. We’re often not willing to risk our own relationships with people, so we won’t directly confront anyone. Instead, we vent our grievances or frustrations to others, and then put on a smile in front of the people we’ve just gossiped about and not think much of it. If you struggle with gossip, you struggle with honesty. If you have gossiped about someone, you’ve been dishonest with them.

Think about why you gossip (if you do): you have a real problem with someone, but you don’t want to hurt their feelings, so you go and talk to another friend about them. Once you’ve done that, you’ve already proven by the fact that you’ve gossiped that your motive was not to love that person: it was to spare yourself the awkwardness and guilt of making them feel bad and making them possibly be offended and angry at you. Your main interest was yourself.

That said, I don’t believe in order to be fully honest with others, we need to bring up every little thing that bothers us about others. But what I try to go by is this principle: if it is not a big enough issue to confront them about, it is not a big enough issue to gossip about. Period. I try to follow this advice.

I don’t think we as humans can really ever claim that we’ve never been dishonest or never will be in the future. We all struggle with it to some degree because we are sinners. Especially for people like myself who fret over what others may think of them, dishonesty can come in the form of trying to put on a certain face in front of a certain type of person in order to earn their good opinion. Being honest means presenting yourself as the same person to everyone, no matter the scene, and knowing that God’s good opinion is all that matters.

Disclaimer: I feel like this is all a bit disjointed, but hopefully makes sense. My thoughts are all a little fragmented lately, but writing them out help me to figure out the whole thought that is being formed.

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