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June 12, 2007 / David Lindner

Selfishness – The Root of all bad worship Services

Selfishness – the root of all bad worship services.

How many times have you come to a worship service, sat there and thought – “I can’t believe I even bothered to come to church today, they’re not playing any of the songs I like, the Pastor is talking about something I don’t ever care about, and they still expect me to give them money” Maybe your attitude on a given Sunday isn’t quite like this, but I’ll bet part of that has been true. Especially that first part, you know the part about the songs.

What immense wars have arisen over the choice of songs on a given Sunday?! Can’t you hear the bickering and complaining? “There were too many contemporary songs.” “There were too many Traditional songs.” What about the wars that have arisen out of hatred of a certain style of music? “The drums are just too loud during that rock stuff. Can you believe they would play the devil’s music in church?” Or, “the music was so old this morning it put me to sleep, I wish I could come to church and hear some kind of music that I actually enjoy, not have to endure something that I don’t even know.”

Am I ringing any bells with you? I would be willing to bet that any one of us have made a comment like that at some point in our church-going careers. But how many of us have ever stopped to think about what we were saying? Unfortunately we get so caught up in our own preferences that we aren’t able to see beyond them. We can’t see the good of a style of worship that is different than ours.

All of these questions, all of this discontentment boils down to this, Selfishness, and selfishness is the root of all bad worship services. Selfishness is the thing one thing that will keep us from entering in to worship that most of us don’t even think about.

Part of our problem is a misunderstanding of what the corporate worship service is intended to do. It is intended to bring unity to the body of believers meeting in that church. It is NOT intended fulfill matters of personal preference. Some might then say, well if we want to have unity, then we need to have our style of worship. Do you see the flaw in this kind of thinking? Are we not supposed to give up ourselves for the good of the whole? If we keep fighting over styles of worship, we are going to miss the boat of worship all together. Worship is not about our style preference, it is about submission to God. If we can’t submit to each other, how are we ever going to be able to submit to God?

Listen to something that A.W. Tozer said in his book The Pursuit of God: “Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred worshipers [meeting] together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be, were they to become ‘unity’ conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship.”

It is on this ground alone that we will be able to come to unity in our worship services in churches today. If we keep fighting over style, we are choosing a standard other than God to look at. We need to all align our lives with the commands of God, and then we can worship in unity, style set aside.

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