Judging How Others Worship

Worship can be a tricky thing.

David danced in front of people in his self-forgetful joy of worship, humiliating his wife. To all appearances, David was just showing off, but in David’s heart he was alone before God.

One problem with worship is that we judge other people for how they do it or not. I’m not a hand waving kind of guy. I have been judged as “not having the Spirit” because I don’t gyrate the way the Spirit apparently makes people gyrate.

At the same time, while I’m being judged for not gyrating, I am judging the gyrators. If I did what they were doing, I would be so self-conscious there is no way I would be worshiping! But that doesn’t mean they aren’t!

It’s like people who get mad when someone says God healed their knee problem, “Well, God didn’t heal me.”

“Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep” should impact us way more than it does.

We assume this means, “Hey, don’t laugh at a funeral, bub.” When in reality it might mean, “Maybe you should shut up about your petty jealousy here and just be happy someone had a good thing happen to them.”

Pride is humanity’s number one downfall. It gets us all the time. Worship can look like pride. A guy fully absorbed in the wonders of God can come across like a real jerk.

I think we need to be careful with pride in relation to our worship: either because it is making us grab attention, or because it makes us judge others.

I’m a guy who gravitates toward keeping it hidden, to stay out of the spotlight, just ignore me in the corner over here. I think that’s a safe place to be. Has it hampered my worship? Maybe when I’m in a group, but I have never really felt worshipful in a group really.

My greatest times of worship have been when I’m alone. When I don’t have to worry about what others think, or have to consider myself at all. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to fully worship God in a context where other people are involved.

I think the Church should be understanding of this and not force it’s “You know you have the Spirit if you do this like us” mentality. It doesn’t help the group who partakes, nor the one who doesn’t.


2 thoughts on “Judging How Others Worship”

  1. You say, “I don’t think I’ll ever be able to fully worship God in a context where other people are involved.” You mean this side of heaven, right? Some day you and other hands-down folks (like me) will be worshiping together before the throne. I can’t wait for that day, when I can look into the face of the person beside me and know we’re only thinking about how awesome our God is!

  2. Yeah, this side of heaven. Growing up as a legally blind, cross-eyed kid has made me very self-conscious around people, to the extent that even if I’m not self conscious about my eyes, it’s just not my personality to be free among other people.

    I will enjoy many aspects of heaven. Being able to see will be one huge great thing, but losing myself in the totalness of God and having all else melt away ranks much higher.

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