Almost, but not quite.

I really like the chorus of this song, but I can’t stand the verses.

I hate when that happens.

Everyone needs compassion
A love that’s never failing
Let mercy fall on me

Everyone needs forgiveness
The kindness of a Savior
The hope of nations

He can move the mountains
My God is mighty to save
He is mighty to save
Author of Salvation
He rose & conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave

So take me as You find me
All my fears & failures
Fill my life again

I give my life to follow
Everything I believe in
Now I surrender

The chorus is God-focused and uses biblical language. The verses are trite and navel-gazing. I think they probably came up with the chorus, scribbled some stream-of-consciousness stuff for the verses, and rushed to press.

What do you think?


8 thoughts on “Almost, but not quite.

  1. In all honesty, I’d have believed you if you said at the end of your post “actually, I made all this up. The chorus and the verses are from two separate songs”. That’s how different they seem to me. I would happily sing the chorus. Not so with the verses. Navel-gazing indeed.

    Additionally, one of my big “corporate worship” pet-peeves appears in this song: the first-person pronoun. I readily admit I’m a bit of a legalist when it comes to this, but I’m with Mark Dever on this one. We sing together once a week, so let’s sing songs that use corporate language right down to the pronouns.

  2. Interestingly, the comments made on this particular topic are simply opinions and are not Biblically based. For example, Christ did die for the individual, as well as the church. Christ does desire a personal relationship with His children. Therefore, as we sing (collectively or individually) we can personalize it.

    Sure, the chorus is God-focused and uses Biblical language. But the verses describe the hopelessness and the pain that we all go through…and that only God can heal. The verses touch on the fact that as humans, we truly struggle with many, many issues. It is an honest statement that we all have fears, we all feel like failures at times…and praise God that He takes us as we are, loves us, and forgives us when we repent and confess to Him.

    To pretend that we’re not needy of a personal relationship with Him and to pretend that we can’t express a desire to be forgiven and to be lifted up is to ignore half the Psalms that David wrote…as David certainly focused on God..but also certianly personalized it.

  3. Luke: It comes out of Hillsong. Not sure who the singer is.

    Chad: Well, yes, these are our opinions, and thank you for giving yours. You’re right; there’s nothing particularly incorrect about the verses. “Trite” doesn’t necessarily mean “wrong.”

    My frustration with the verses isn’t that I think they’re heretical; it’s that I don’t think they’re well-written. They sound (to me, my opinion) like the lyrics to every other contemporary Christian song out there. They seem me-oriented, not God-oriented. That’s not inherently bad, because you’re right– that kind of language is in the Psalms. But put this song in our context, which is a very me-oriented culture in the world and the church, and the verses to me just seem vanilla, in contrast with a big, God-exalting chorus.

    Nobody’s “pretend[ing] that we’re not needy of a personal relationship with Him and pretend[ing] that we can’t express a desire to be forgiven and to be lifted up.” Easy there. We’re expressing our opinions on one song. I thought people might disagree with me– that’s why I wrote the post and ended it with “What do you think?” Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

  4. Uh… yeah, now that you mention it. It’s always the chorus I find myself singing, so I didn’t give much thought to the verses. Until now. This song needs an extreme makeover. The chorus stays. The verses get rewritten to stay with the theme of the chorus: God’s might and majesty; God of the impossible.

  5. Jake you mention that the verses sound like every other worship tune out right now…. But I wouldn’t say that the Chorus is reinventing creativity either…
    But I love the song…
    It articulates our faith…
    And like many tunes presents the human condition in the verses and the good news of the gospel in the chorus…

    I wish the language in the verses was more clear on our depravity and desperate need for the good news in said chorus….

  6. Thanks Jake. I never said “Trite” means “wrong.” However, you are implying (whether you know it or not), that these type of worship songs just don’t have the “theological” support that they should have…or maybe just aren’t “pointing to God” as much as they should. Yet, when reading scripture from Psalms (for example – Psalms 102), you will see direct correlation between songs like the one above, and many of the chaters found in Psalms. Yes, lot’s of “I’s” and “me’s” in Psalm 102…and a pointing out that we need compassion, we need mercy, we need help, we’re dying here, we’re confused…and then a leading into (around verse 12) the pointing to God and His power, His Holiness, His authority, etc. Almost like a worship song with “trite” verses, and then the Chorus pointing to God.

    Don’t get me wrong, there are worship songs (and hymns) that some people will not like…and that’s ok. Yet, there are also some people who tend to generalize and make statements like “The chorus is God-focused and uses biblical language” and “The verses are trite and navel-gazing” and “I think they probably came up with the chorus, scribbled some stream-of-consciousness stuff for the verses, and rushed to press.” Hmmm…maybe the author of many of the Psalms… did the very same thing. I guess this begins to hit a chord with people because of so many churches with infighting over something as silly as whether or not worship songs or hymns should be in church. Both sides of the argument begin making statements that simply aren’t Biblical – yet churches actually split over these “personal preferences.”

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