When I started the sixth grade, I had a decision to make: would I join the choir or the band? Choosing one was mandatory—everyone needed a music class—and it was one of the easiest decisions of my young life. But not because I loved music. I would join the band, and I would play the trumpet. “Why?” some asked. “Because it only has three buttons, so it’s obviously the easiest instrument to play.”
I couldn’t have been more wrong in my assumption, as anyone who has been in middle school band class would know, but that’s not the point here. The point is this: I was mortified at the prospect of my classmates hearing me sing or, even worse, of being asked to sing a solo.
Too many of us men are afraid to sing our thanks to God. I am a lot more comfortable singing now than I was in middle school, but it still feels awkward at times. The problem is that our discomfort with opening our mouths and singing in tune (or at least trying) conflicts with the call to rejoice and sing praises of thanks to our God. This call is given to us throughout Scripture.
Ezra 3:11 tells us that, following the reconstruction of the temple, “they sang with praise and thanksgiving to the LORD: ‘For he is good; his faithful love to Israel endures forever.’ Then all the people gave a great shout of praise to the LORD because the foundation of the LORD’s house had been laid.”
In Ephesians 5, Paul tells us to speak to one another “in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs… giving thanks always to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (vv. 19–20). And in Philippians 4:4, he says, “Rejoice in the Lord. I will say it again: Rejoice!” He urges us to be grateful again and again. Rejoicing in the Lord is the normal Christian life.
Unfortunately, gratitude toward others and toward God goes unspoken and unsung far too often. When we understand the grace God has shown us in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, any inhibitions that may bind our hearts and muzzle our mouths must be loosed.
God knows our hearts, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t called to open our mouths and sing about the faithful, everlasting love of God! We do this not only to praise God, but also to encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ. Christ gave his life for us; we can give up our pride for Him. Let’s rejoice and sing of our thankfulness to God together.
Written by Chris Martin