Singing and Emotions
Did you know that singing stirs the soul? There is a beautiful connection between singing and its ability to engage the heart. This might sound a little mystical, but the biblical truth is that we were made to sing; God created music and designed humans to sing along. Thanks to our gracious God, the wonderful gift we receive when we sing is that it connects our minds and hearts to the truths of who God is and who we are in Christ. This stirs our soul.
The article ‘Singing Helps Us Feel the Gospel’, by David Mathis, helped me understand this wonderful truth and reminded me again about the joy and privilege it is to gather and worship in song together each week.
Ask songwriter and beloved worship-leader Bob Kauflin about the place of song in the church’s corporate worship, and he’ll direct you to the two times the apostle Paul explicitly mentions singing. Ephesians 5:19 speaks of our “…addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart.” Colossians 3:16 instructs us, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
“Colossians 3:16–17 comes in the context of Paul describing what it looks like to live a gospel-fueled life as a community in the midst of a pagan society,” says Kauflin. That picture is increasingly relevant in our day. “There’s something about singing that both enables and encourages the rich indwelling of the word of Christ in our hearts. The ‘word of Christ’ is the gospel. It’s who Jesus is, what he’s done, and why it matters. That gospel is to dwell in us richly through singing. Singing is what helps us do that and express that.”
How, then, does singing help us feel the gospel? According to Kauflin, one way, among many, is: “…singing helps us meditate and reflect on the words we’re singing by drawing them out. We slow it down, we repeat it” — and in doing so, the weight and significance has longer to ring in our souls and penetrate to our depths. This slowing down and repeating sets song apart as markedly different than mere speech.”
“If we spoke like that, it would be odd. People would wonder what your problem is. But when we sing, it makes perfect sense. It allows time for those truths to seep down into our souls and impact us and affect us and change not only our emotional state but the choices we make, the things we do, because we do the things we love.”
“God gave us singing to affect the things we love, to remind us of the things that are most important about what Jesus Christ has done to save us, to redeem us — those things are most important in life. We want to be amazed by those truths.”
I look forward to singing with you on Sunday!