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By James O’Brien

In our American culture during the last hundred or so years, we have become ever more driven by consumerism, and while not all aspects of it are bad, in excess it can be. Some good things though: products are continually refined and improved which can improve the quality of life, the economy can also be impacted for the better when done correctly. People get jobs and are able to provide for their families and even have that much more to be able to help those in need. However, there are some downsides to consumerism.

When people get caught up in consumerism, they begin to focus primarily on themselves and lose connection with contentment. Our culture convinces many that they need the next best thing in order to really fit in and be satisfied in life. Caught up in this, people begin sacrificing all the wrong things such as relationships and savings and even peace of mind.

In the context of the church, this consumeristic mindset comes into play as well. There are some good things, such as looking to bring in new modes of communication and styles of engaging people both in the building and outside the building. However, we often get caught up in it so much that we begin fighting over styles of songs, and this thing or that thing that we don’t like the style of or think should be done basically to cater to our own desires. Here’s the thing though, it’s not about you and me, but about us and God. Our focus should be not on “what can I get in worship this morning?” but on “what can I give in worship this morning?”

Jesus sacrificially set aside His comfort in heaven to enter into our lives here on earth, and he ultimately endured the most pain and suffering and sacrifice that one could give, all for the sake of giving us the chance to enter into a relationship with Him, along with those that also believe. We need to enter our churches the same way. Yes, sometimes, this might mean singing a style of song that we don’t fully relate to, but love it anyway because we see how a fellow brother and sister in Christ do relate to it. I’ll end with a quote from Relevant Magazine which said this:

“Worship is war. But it is not to be fought over our own preferences. We must turn our energy towards killing the selective, prideful nature within us. We must fight to put to death anything in us that would hinder us from pursuing Christ with all we are. We must fight to worship Him with a joyful adoration that can-not be contained.

So the next time you go to church and the music is too loud, or the leader is singing that song you don’t like, go to war. Fight against the sin at work within yourself. Fight against consumerism and disunity. Fight for a grateful heart. Fight for the truth to captivate you in a way music never could. Fight to stand in awe of a mighty God who rescued you and graciously sings over you.”