Every Sunday morning before I stand up to preach, I take my seat on the left side of our church’s auditorium. From where I sit, I have a fairly good view of the people in the congregation. While I know that I ought to concentrate on singing, I sometimes find myself watching the people around me during our worship time. (Don’t judge me! You’ve probably done it too!) Although some people don’t sing at all, other people sing enthusiastically. They keep their eyes focused on the worship leader or the lyrics, and they even raise their hands or close their eyes.
Sometimes, when I see a person singing praise songs with that sort of abandon, I think, “Wow, that person must really be feeling the goodness of God right now. She’s responding to a feeling that God has been good to her, so she’s singing wholeheartedly.” And quite often that’s true: sometimes we sing because we are in a joyful frame of mind, and we respond accordingly.
But that’s not always true.