Clanging vs. Singing

>> July 24, 2011

I played the drums in the school band from fifth to eighth grade. Being the only girl on the back row of the concert band in junior high, I put up with a lot of flak from the boys.

Although playing the snare seemed to be the coveted percussion instrument, our band teacher generally rotated us through the various instruments: snare, bass, timpani, bells, and cymbals. Eventually I gravitated towards the timpani, bells, and cymbals by choice. In part to avoid standing too close to boys because they were gross, but I also found I enjoyed the musical aspect of them.

I was familiar with a piano keyboard enough to sight read the bell music, I had a good ear for tones when tuning the tympanis, and I could make the cymbals sing. If a percussionist doesn’t play the hand cymbals correctly, the clang sound causes audiences to grit their teeth and pray for the end of the song to come quickly. 

In the love chapter, 1 Corinthians 13:1 is extremely familiar even among those who aren’t Christ followers.

“If I speak of tongues of men and angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.”

But how does that look to us who are Christ followers?

 It carries a whole lot more responsibility, that’s how it looks. And if you are one who is serving in a “higher call” capacity, it involves even more responsibility.

It hurts my heart when men or women stand in leadership within the body of Christ and proclaim the truths of God’s Word and treat their loved ones poorly. When their “tongues of men and angels” flow skillfully from behind a lectern or pulpit, but switch to spewing hurtful words or thoughtless comments within the walls of their home… it simply grieves me.

What does this do to their credibility with their spouses and children?

Colossians 3:21 reminds us Fathers do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

I’m writing a novel and the title is Wellspring. I chose this title because the common thread I weave throughout the story is that God is the wellspring or source of everything. When I think of a wellspring I envision the source of bubbling, clean, pure, spring water.

Proverbs 4:23 says: Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life and Luke 6:45 reminds us that what is in the heart inevitably comes out of the mouth.

Grant it, no minister’s family is perfect. I can attest to that. But I encourage those who serve in a position where you are called to teach God’s word, whether full time vocational minister or volunteer, be sure you are drinking from the Wellspring and you will make those cymbals sing.

“Fathers do not exasperate your children but bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”    ~ Ephesians 6:4

4 comments so far...Care to leave your thoughts?:

Rita Garcia 7/25/2011  

Also, great advice in our everyday lives. Being loving and gentle at home with our families is where we need to shine the brightest. Love you!

Joanne Sher 7/25/2011  

Super reminder, dear Mari (and I JUST read "the love chapter" this morning.). Do NOT want to sound like that clanging cymbal!

Laury 7/25/2011  

First, I have to say - I can just see young Marita focusing on the music and the band director so she doesn't miss her cue, there in the back row with all those Jr. High boys. What a picture:)

That's what we have to do now - we can't get off focus by distractions, whether they be gross boys or whatever. We have to look to Jesus, so we can come in on cue and sound good doing it.

I've known many pastors who appear so godly on the outside but let 'er rip as soon as they got home. It's sad but God doesn't stand for it very long before it comes to light.

Praying our pastors look to Jesus always and not clang off key. Also pray that all of us focus on Jesus, too, so that we are able to play magnificent music together and not just play pretend church.

Excellent post, Mari.

Lisa Mikitarian 7/25/2011  

The "wellspring" verse is one of my favorites--and a great title for your novel. This is a great reminder of how important integrity is in our lives.

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