Christians have a habit of ruining really great songs. I think I know why. It’s because they sing them to death. Simples.
Take the song ‘Ten thousand reasons’ for example. When this first came out, it had a freshness and inspiration that was uplifting. But after years of churches singing it week in & week out, it has lost it’s impact because….yup, Christians have ruined it. When you’re just about to belt out ‘Ten thousand reasons’ for the ten thousandth time, you breathe a little sigh, steel yourself & then psychologically prepare for the journey over the next five minutes. The song has been killed!
Or what about the Hillsong classic ‘Oceans’. Wow! What a truly incredible song this is – lyrically profound and musically beautiful. But this amazing song has been ship wrecked by noble obsession. The countless attempts by Christians to relive the experience of the song again and again make it wearisome and uninspiring to a new generation who’d like a few experiences of their own. When I hear ‘Oceans’ now, I sometimes feel like I’m drowning in one. Interestingly, you’ll never hear this song at a Hillsong event. They understand only too well what can happen when a song is sung too much. This one is just too good to be ruined.
Years ago in the 1980’s, there was a song called ‘Shine Jesus Shine’. In it’s day, this was a revolutionary anthem, sung by congregations the nation over. 30 years later, it’s treated (unfairly) as a joke. Why? Not because the song wasn’t good but because Christians have ruined it!! It was for a season. Some churches are still trying to relive the season…but it’s not 1986 anymore!
That’s the problem. There can be a tendency among some Christians to want to relive old seasons over and over again. Under the guise of ‘they don’t write songs like they used to‘, sometimes there’s an unhealthy resentment towards new songs and a gushing sentimentalism for a bygone era. Well ok, no doubt some great things happened back then. But remember, the good old days were never really THAT good.
Meanwhile, our creator genius God has new songs for today. They reflect what he’s doing in the world in THIS season. Lets enjoy them while the season lasts. Then when the next season comes along, lets look forward to those songs too. This is how we stay fresh and young at heart….by looking forward not back. Sure, cherish the good times you’ve had. But keep a strong conviction that the BEST is yet to come. That’s how we’ll keep our music fresh & creative.