Emily Nelson – CLI Student Ministries Intern
It’s happened to all of us before. You’re in an awesome worship setting, really getting into the music, your heart is fluttering, you feel incredibly connected to God, and it’s FANTASTIC. All of a sudden, a horrible screeching sound breaks into your worship bubble of spiritual bliss and totally throws off your groove. The person next to you, who couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket, is caterwauling at the top of their lungs, enthusiastically expressing their praise to the Lord, and now all you can think about is how bad they sound. Distracted from your spiritually profound worship experience, your frustration grows and you begin to sing louder, hoping to inspire them to sing on pitch. Maybe you even shoot up a quick prayer that God would miraculously transform them into an excellent singer. And when you chance a glance in their direction, you see them with hands held high and head thrown back, shrieking their heart out, a big ol’ smile on their face, totally caught up in worship, not sparing a thought for how they sound or holding back, but belting it out with all they’ve got.
What do you do? Discreetly move away? Glare at them until they shut up? Most likely, you go back to your own worship experience, disgruntled and annoyed, only half paying attention to the words you’re singing.
We’ve all been there.
But here’s the thing: we’re all screechers.
Maybe not literally, but we’re screechers just the same. I guarantee you there’s something you do on a regular basis that you are not good at. At all. Maybe it’s staying organized. Maybe it’s public speaking. Maybe your jokes never quite land. Maybe your idea of an artistic masterpiece is a disproportional stick person. We all have areas in which we are pitifully weak. God has gifted us all in ways that are as unique as we are. The flipside of that is that we each have our share of weaknesses, too.
I know, I know, it’s a bummer. And if that were the end of this post, it would be a pretty terrible post. But there is good news!
Here it is: to God, our screeching is beautiful when it comes from a genuine heart of love for Him. When the people around us look disdainfully down their noses at the weaker parts of us, we can keep smiling, arms outstretched and screeching at the top of our lungs. Because God doesn’t hear screeching. Imagine the most amazing singer you’ve ever heard. That’s what genuine praise sounds like from God’s perspective, no matter how off pitch it is to the people sitting around us.
And it’s the same story for whatever your weakness is. Bring your weakness to God. He not only sees the beauty in our weaknesses, He meets us in the midst of them and lends His strength. We all fail. Whatever area you’re a “screecher” in, know that God sees beyond your failure. He sees beauty in your most pathetic attempts when the heart behind it is motivated by love for Him.
You see, ours is not a God who is driven by results, but a God motivated by and passionate about genuine relationships and life transformation. I pray that this truth is freeing for you. You aren’t being measured against some performance chart. You don’t have to measure up to a set of standards. You’re not being evaluated against the people around you. What God wants from you is your heart. He wants your life. The things you do, if they’re not the overflow of a heart of love, are meaningless, no matter how good you are at those things.
So go all in. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God.” Whatever you do. Not most things. Not some things. Everything. Do it all to the glory of God. And know that He sees your heart and has deemed it beautiful, no matter the screeching others may hear.