I literally exaggerate all the time.
Thankfully, people who know me best have learned to decode what I’m really saying. For example, when I say “I’d rather be waterboarded than have to watch another Minnesota Vikings football play-off game” what I really mean is that I’m disappointed in my favorite team’s inability to win anything worthwhile.
Or when I say, “I wish a meteorite would hit Washington Street” what I’m really saying is that a total rebuild on Washington Street would go a long way in helping traffic flow.
Or when I say, “I think everything should be covered in cheese”… well check that. Everything actually should be covered in cheese.
Exaggeration is a normal part of our common vernacular. Most of us do it, and most of us understand the sentiment in lieu of the literal. What frightens me, as a self-identifying exaggerator, is when we sing exaggeration in our worship songs.
This past Sunday we sang the song Have it All. Aptly titled, the song is about giving the entirety of ourselves to Jesus - His mission and His glory.
Question: when we sing this, is it an exaggeration?
When we sing,
You can have it all, Lord
Every part of my world
Do we actually mean it? Or are we just singing sentiment?
Would truer lyrics be,
You can have some of my world
But not the parts that I prefer
That seems to resonate more so than the total surrender that the song describes.
I have no problem giving Jesus some of my time. Some of my talents. Some of my money. Some of my affections. But when the call is to give Him all of those things, it’s much easier to exaggerate about devotion than to live out devotion.
How then does Have It All become a real song and not just words that we only pretend to mean?
I’d answer that with one word…
Our heart’s posture is the difference between sincerity and sentimentality. If our posture is, “I’ll go anywhere for Jesus. I’ll do anything for Jesus. I’ll give up everything for Jesus,” the lyrics will become truer and truer.
But how do we posture ourselves? That answer is simple: prayer.
God will change your heart when you come to Him in prayer and ask him to do such a work. We can’t willpower posture. We can’t white-knuckle posture. We need to be men and women of prayer and then the Spirit creates posture.
Pray. Pray that Jesus would be your strongest desire. Pray that His mission would be your mission. Pray that He becomes incalculably more precious to you than anything else in your life. If we sincerely pray those prayers then Have It All will become the anthem of our lives.
I literally cannot wait to sing this song again.