Do you know your love language? I learned a few years back that my primary love language is Words of Affirmation. I almost think this doesn’t qualify as gift! You see, I am a “Words of Affirmation” girl, and it is so hard on me when I screw up. If you bless me with a compliment, I can go for miles and miles. Point out my failures and I am devastated and obsess with the situation for days. I can’t quit thinking of my flub and frankly it sucks!
When needed, I am a fill-in worship leader (in my church.) I love to lead worship although it is a bit trickier for one who didn’t grow up with traditional worship and hymns to lead for the traditional service. For two weeks in a row a friend and I helped cover the traditional worship service and for some crazy reason it just didn’t go well for me.
The second week was worse than the first because I didn’t know a couple of older songs very well, argh…I really messed up! Bless the hearts of the congregation as they sang those familiar songs without missing a beat! I even forgot the call to worship which starts us out. This was just crazy and I really felt like I made a fool of myself.
Because I only sort of read music and sing by ear, if I know a song I’m fine but for one not so well known it can really get tricky when there are four verses and I have to try to follow the music and read words.
It drives me crazy how I react once I blow it. I feel just like a freak in front of perfect people and I become devastated! You know there won’t be any words of affirmation to greet you as you exit. As a matter of fact, people will tend to avoid you or if they do brave talking to you it is going to be about the weather, ha! Weather is such a safe place to navigate.
I wish that was all! But to make matters worse was my performance based other half who couldn’t wait to ask why I messed up and not just on one but two songs. I wanted to scream and cry all at once! And I didn’t reply very humbly when he asked what the other worship leader had to say. So my retort was far from grace-filled when I said that she is so filled with love and grace that she would have just given me a big hug and said that she has been there. That shut him up in a hurry!
Yes, I have thought about this for way too long. And yes, once again I am admitting to my tendency to be a people pleaser. I know there is a healthy balance between doing your best and pleasing people to satisfy your affirmation craving! But I have to remind myself that I am not perfect and that I will make mistakes.
As a worship leader, my responsibility is to lead the congregation into worship. If I hold myself to performing then I am defeating the purpose and losing focus of my audience of One. He alone is who I want to please, first and foremost. He knows my heart and the intent.
In Darlene Zschech’s book, Extavagant Worship, she points out:
“The disciples whom Jesus chose to have around Him were an imperfect bunch of people to spread the Gospel to the ends of the Earth.”
Somehow this makes me feel a bit better about messing up!
So I am at it again this week and like they say about falling off of a horse, you have to get right back up there and try again. I have reckoned with my heart and I have dealt with my shame and frustration (which doesn’t really do a person any good anyway!) I know Who I love and Who loves me so I will trust that this Sunday’s worship will go much better than the last time.
Maybe you have had to contend with your failures, how did you dealt with your mistake?
Is there something that you do or tell yourself after messing up or miss the mark somewhere?
And finally, how do you think God feels about you when you mess up? Did His love for you drop a notch because you didn’t hit the right notes?
I know my Father’s love and if His mercies are new every day then we need to exercise grace to ourselves and others who may fail now and again.
“The LORD is compassionate and gracious, Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.” Psalm 103:8
For this truth I am so grateful!