I, Me, We vs. You, God, Jesus

I could read articles about church leadership and worship planning until the cows come home. And, since I live in the city, I’d say there is a high likelihood that the cows are permanently out to lunch. But, I digress….

I read an article today called “5 Reasons Worship Lyrics Matter” by John Reid. He talked about many things but, in this blog I want to concentrate on this idea:

A common dispute is that modern praise songs have too much “I, Me, We” and not enough “You, God, Jesus.” The claim is that when I, Me and We are used so much, it makes the song about us. I beg to differ—to an extent. When the “Me” is “create in me a clean heart,” then the song is still about Jesus because when we ask God to create in us a pure heart, we are recognizing our depravity, his atoning sacrifice and the beauty of grace. It’s straight from the scriptures, which in context was also worship. If “I, Me, We” causes a brother or sister to be grumpy, then the issue lies with their heart. If “I, We, Me” causes them to sit and sulk during a worship service, then they have missed the humble approach to worship that is prefaced in the song.

If we ever get to a point of aggravation where we cannot simply opt out of singing to pray, but instead we angrily attack the lyrics and supposed intents of the author/singer … then we’ve come to a point where pride has claimed the victor and we must repent of such hostility.  

Can a song be about us? Sure, if it means us responding in adoration to the glory of the Father.

In everything we do, in everything we say, in every moment of our lives, may we live to glorify our Lord.”

The so-called “worship wars” that go on in churches (both now and in the past) have one thing at the base of them – pride. The traditional folks who fight tooth and nail for “the old hymns” take pride in their past and gosh darn it if everyone else shouldn’t take pride in it too. The contemporary pushers have contempt for these old hymns….contempt based on the “fact” that the thing the church “needs” today is a new song….heck, it’s even biblical (Psalm 96:1)….or at least they interpret it to be in all of their glorious “wisdom”.

What do we have going on here? Opposite sides of the same coin. The “my way or the highway” mentality.

What to do?

Check your motives. Check MY motives. Are my motives based on how the Holy Spirit is moving in my church or how I THINK He should be moving in my church? Are they based in wanting more praise to be given to Jesus due to His ultimate sacrifice or to me due to my stellar worship planning? Am I mostly concerned with giving God “the honor and glory due His name” (1st Chronicles 16:29) or boasting about the long hours it takes to put together a special service?

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor than to divide the spoil with the proud. – Proverbs 16:18-19

Lord, thank you for keeping me in check when my spirit waltzes to the pride side of life. You came this earth as a lowly human, and not ONCE did pride ruin Your ministry. Help me to learn from you how to be a servant first. Amen!


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