I was asked recently, “What is your favorite hymn?” As I thought about it, I came to the conclusion that I don’t think I have one favorite hymn.
A following thought was, “Perhaps we should be asking God that question, as we are singing praise to Him,” but that’s not quite right is it. Yes, we sing primarily to honor and praise our God, but there is also the human element of feeling good (or encouragement) in our “hymn singing” also.
We are told in the scripture, “be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5:18b-20 NIV) Then of course there is Colossians 3:16 which tells us, “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.”
So, we see that it is part of God’s plan that we not only praise him in song, but we “teach and admonish one another,” “through psalms, hymns, and songs.”
So, do I have a favorite song? Well I guess there are some I enjoy singing more than others, but I enjoy most any hymn we sing, but, perhaps that is a matter of perspective. Some of you may know that at one point in time my sister, brother-in-law, my wife and I were part of a “Gospel Quartet,” that traveled around the country singing at churches and special events. I love to sing! However things made a drastic change for me a few years back. You see, during our time as missionaries in Africa I got Malaria repeatedly. The standard treatment was a quinine based medicine. At one point I had a particularly severe case and they gave me pure quinine which damaged the nerves in my ears. My last hearing test showed that I have about a 75 percent hearing loss in both ears. They have been able to correct that to about a 25 percent loss with hearing aids. I’m telling you this, because it gives me a perspective that says, “If you can hear any singing at all, it’s a good thing,” “if you can join in and sing (no matter how badly you think you do it), it’s a good thing.
I want to encourage you to sing whenever you get the opportunity. You may have a favorite hymn or just enjoy them all. You may struggle to hear the notes or even the announcement of the page number in the hymnal, but sing anyway, it’s not a good enough excuse. You not only praise God, you encourage me (and others), when I/we hear you sing. You may think, “That’s easy for him to say, he doesn’t know how hard it is for me. Go back and read the previous paragraph again. Yes I do.
Again, Paul said, “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.” How about doing just that!
Russ Lawson is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with his column Today’s Challenges. He is semi-retired and an elder at the Mid-County Church of Christ. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.