Hello everyone and welcome to episode 48 where today we start Season 3. It’s so good to be back!
I’m generally a person who’s comfortable within my own skin. I’ve never been very good athletically. I’m OK with that. I’m not very good at fixing things. I like to say it’s because I don’t have the right tools. I never buy tools, and don’t accept them as gifts, because if I did, I couldn’t use that as an excuse for not being able to repair anything.
Rather than tools, I have this principle I live by that if something’s broken, wait 2 weeks, and about 10% of the time the problem will fix itself. The one exception is with cars. Car problems rarely ever fix them self. Not too long ago, for example, I had a minor plumbing problem that I didn’t know to fix. So I waited, actually just overnight, and the next morning a solution came to mind that worked. I didn’t have to go looking for help. None of these personal deficiencies, and others like them, get me down.
But there is one thing that does. One quality I lack that I am envious of others who have what’s missing in my life. I know there’s something like this in your life, too. Something you’d like to change about yourself, that you can’t. Something that’s missing that others have that you want for yourself.
Listen in and I’ll tell you how I learned to work through this, because if I can work though it, you most certainly can, too.So here’s the story. I’ve always wanted to be a person who embraces music, especially to sing. But music has never been part of my life.
- Don’t listen to music on the radio or on my phone, except at Christmas
- Don’t go to concerts
- Don’t know how to sing, but always admired people who do
- Carol sings well. Heard her the other day from outside our ladies locker room down stairs. It was beautiful
- Her husband Terry has a terrific tenor voice that melts butter
- I’ve wanted that for my life, because in church, singing is at the heart of worship, and I want to worship God in a meaningful way
- But singing in church rarely does it for me. It rarely connects me with God
- There are moments when it does, however, when the singing of others will move me to tears. When I go to a performance of Handel’s Messiah each December, that connects me with God, through the singing of others.
- Many Christmas Carols connect me with God. Have 7+ hours of Christmas music on my phone.
But it’s all about the singing of others, not my own.
I was especially discouraged about all this until one day I came across Romans 12 in the bible
I’ve read this passage numerous times before, but this time, starting in verse 4, I was amazed how the rest of chapter 12 was so relational.
So many directives on how we are to relate to each other. It is so rich in relationship principles. To my way of thinking it’s the most relational passage of the bible. So steeped in how we can have better relationships. That was the last 17 verses of the chapter.
But then I thought, what about the first 3 verses? Maybe I should look at those verses more closely because they provide the context for the rest of the verses that follow. And that’s when it hit me.
The first 3 verses are about relationships, too. Several very deep relational truths there too. And the one that tipped it over the edge for me was the very first verse. It’s where Paul writes
“Therefore I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.”
And what follows this verse, all this relationship stuff, are examples of worship. Nothing at all is mentioned about music or singing. It’s all about how our relationships, when done the way God wants them done, is a means to worship and please him.
This excited me. This discovery has changed how I view worship, and has over time, shaped what I want to do with the rest of my life. It’s to help people please God through their relationships. It’s why I started this podcast. You Were Made for This is about helping people transform their relationships into the best they can be.
Because when that happens, we find joy in life, it’s what we were made for. We were made for this. We find joy in pleasing and worshiping God in our relationships with others, our relationship with God himself, and even in our relationship with our self.
We’ll be looking at all of this in the episodes coming up.
Here’s what I learned today. Here’s what struck me
The way I worked through this desire for musical ability and talent, is to appreciate this quality in others, but to know I don’t have to be like others. That while they worship and please God because how they’re wired and gifted, to know I can please and worship God by another means: relationships.
Music has the power to draw us into a deep relationship with God. But if how we are doing in our relationships isn’t pleasing to God, I don’t see where God is too impressed with our singing and music
If our music is good, but our relationships are bad, we don’t please God at all. He’s more concerned with how we relate than the tunes we sing.
And finally, and most encouraging to me and I hope you too, is that if our singing is bad and out of tune, but our relationships are good and in harmony with God, we worship him well.
If you forget everything else, here’s the one thought, the one idea, I hope you remember from today’s episode
We worship God and please him through our relationships, perhaps even more than the songs we sing and play.
Here’s what you can do in response to today’s show.
Ask God to show you someone he wants you bless today. Someone you have to sacrifice for, where you get nothing in return, except for the satisfaction that you’re pleasing God. Then ask the Lord for the strength to do so. Ask him to bless that other person through you, where he does the work through you.
As always, another thing you could do is let me and your fellow listeners know what resonated with you about today’s episode. You can share your thoughts in the “Leave a Reply” box at the bottom of the show notes. Or you can send them to me in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope your thinking was stimulated by today’s show, to both reflect and to act. So that you will find the joy God intends for you through your various relationships. Because after all, You Were Made for This.
Now for Our Relationship Quote of the Week
Nearly everything God asks us to do is in the context of relationships.
~ Richard Swenson, M.D.
That’s all for today. See you next week. Bye for now.