Skill vs. Anointing: The Heart of the Matter

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You’ve probably heard someone say, “God doesn’t care what it sounds like, as long as their heart is in the right place.”

But is this true?

I’ve been thinking about Skill vs. Anointing (or learning a skill, vs. being gifted with a talent) and I’ve come to some personal conclusions on this matter which are pretty evident to anyone who is familiar with this website and it’s purpose.

What do YOU think though, does God really care if you sound good or not?

After all, isn’t it the heart that matters?

If it is the heart that matters, why should we strive for excellence in worship through music?

Here is great article from TheMusicMinistryCoach.com which explores some of these thoughts. I found it interesting, helpful and thought-provoking, and I think you will too.

I’d love for you to leave a comment and let me know what you think about this!

 

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2 Responses to Skill vs. Anointing: The Heart of the Matter

  1. Thank you for sharing this! Yes, I definitely think that a person’s heart towards the matter of music ministry is the most important. Yet if we truly examine our hearts, shouldn’t we really want to give God our very best? After all, He is the One who gives us our abilities.
    Of course, our “best” differs for everyone. For a three year-old child, his “best” may be only “making a joyful noise”. But if he truly wants to praise God with all his heart, I think that the off-key childish voice is very precious to the Lord.
    On the other hand, if an adult (particularly one trained in music) sang in the same manner as the three year-old, it would make you wonder, “Does this person really care about ‘Giving his best to the Master’?”
    So I think that one could compare this whole matter to the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30). And I think that it is our responsibility, as well as our duty, to cultivate everything that God has given us. Of course it takes work, but that’s nothing compared to the joy we will feel when someday we hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant”.
    May we use everything He has given us for His glory!

  2. Thank you for sharing this, Chris! That was an excellent article. It has prompted a lot of thought for me. I usually took that statement to mean “Don’t be afraid to worship the Lord in congregational singing, and don’t refrain from ministering to others, even if you aren’t as musically skilled as so-and-so.” I agree, though, that the statement can be very wrongly applied. I think if you play or sing poorly simply out of laziness, then your heart isn’t right anyway. I’m not sure how to balance this exactly, but in our corporate worship there is an aspect of also edifying one another. Part of playing for the glory of God alone includes blessing others. If you’re going to try to minister to others by singing/playing music, but your offering is musically awful, you’re probably not blessing them with the message you were hoping to send. Although this passage is particularly referring to speaking with tongues, I think the concept can apply to this. “Even things without life, whether flute or harp, when they make a sound, unless they make a distinction in the sounds, how will it be known what is piped or played? For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare for battle?” 1 Corinthians 14:7-8. I appreciated what the author had to say about anointing, however, because sometimes lesser-quality music has a greater-quality edification. I agree with Elizabeth Hamilton. I think that the Father’s heart is pleased when we offer up worship in spirit and in truth, giving the best we have (even if the best is simply “a joyful noise”) with a heart of thankfulness. All believers are commanded to exhort one another through song (Ephesians 5:19, Colossians 3:16), not just those who are musically talented. All of us should sing, yet not all of us have to lead. All of us are responsible to give, to show mercy, to encourage one another, yet these are also things that certain individuals are clearly more gifted in. (Romans 12:6-8) That does not excuse those who aren’t from ever doing them, but it does require greater diligence in that area from the one so skilled. Someone I know once said, “If God has given you a song, and you can’t sing, but joy is welling up within you, by all means, sing! It’s okay to sing in your home, prayer closet, or in the shower, just don’t buy a bus and go on tour!” ; )

    We wouldn’t accept that attitude in any other area of life. “The Lord doesn’t care if I do a good job cleaning this kitchen, as long as my heart is right.” “God isn’t concerned if I know what I’m doing for my patients, as long as my heart is in the right place.” If your heart is right, you WILL do a good job, to the best of your ability! Recognizing that all we have comes from God should produce in us a diligence.

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