Worship Songs about Doubt and Pain

Once a month, our wednesday night youth house group looks at an aspect of culture and reflects on it from a christian worldview.

We celebrate it. we engage with it and we critique it.

This month we looked at music. Each young person was asked to bring a song and I printed off the lyrics to them. One by one we listened to them. studied the lyrics and discussed them.

All but two of the songs dealt with issues of resentment, loneliness, bitterness and low self esteem.

These are songs that the young people, and myself, empathize with.

They are songs that speak of the suffering of the human condition that we all experience at times.

Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, the psalms, the prophets.

The Hebrew Bible is full of songs, poems and outcries of suffering. Songs of Lament. Songs of Pain. Songs of Doubt.

I asked them whether they felt these emotions and ideas were found in the songs we sing at church.

They answered with a resounding “NO!”

Why don’t we sing songs of doubt, anxiety and pain in church?

Why do we pretend these are not legitimate experiences?

Why do we only sing songs about how good God is and how our problems disappear when we see God?

What would a worship song about doubt and pain look like; sound like?

What would a church look like that gave space to more songs of lament?

Maybe it’s time we write these songs with our young people.

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