I grew up in a conservative, Southern-Baptist Church.  Services were an hour tops, and if the preacher even dared to preach a minute over the allotted time, everyone stated shuffling, clearing their throats or looking at their watches.  There was no such things as dancing to the melody of the hymns.  If the spirit moved you, you could “reverently” sway your body, but you could not break a sweat.  Loud shouting or cheering weren’t common place.

As I got older, I began to wonder, “Is it irreverent to become animated in church?  Over the years, I have thought a lot about that question.  In fact, I thought about it today.

Today, my church had a very charismatic guess preacher who delivered an impactful message, which was nothing short of electrifying.  But, as I looked about the auditorium few people jumped out of their chairs and cheered.  I’m not saying that the congregation was not moved.  All I am saying is the atmosphere was not explosive.

Throughout my life, I have attended sporting events and concerts where I have screamed so long and hard that my throat was sore for days.  Some might even argue that my behavior at such events could be classified as undignified—rather un-lady like.  But the truth is, most people are probably just like me.  At a concerts, sporting events, or night clubs in some cases, they are not afraid to “break it down” (i.e. drop it like it’s hot or twerk it) while shouting, “That’s my jam.”  In those settings, letting loose is expected and normal.  However, when it comes to church, we all or a sudden become sanctified (i.e. prudish).  So why don’t we get that excited for God?  Why don’t we hoot and holler for God?  They did in the Bible!  In 2 Samuel 6:14, the Bible says that King David danced before God with “all his might.”  Dancing with “all his might” was not simply swaying from side to side.  In secular vernacular, David was “getting it in.”  He was getting down.  He was not being shy.  Now, that is not to say that we should all worship this way.  We all have different personalities.  Some individuals are introverts, while some are extroverts.  The point is, we should not feel embarrassed, or prideful, to fully worship God, especially when we have no qualms about cheering for man in other arenas or venues.

I must be honest.  It took me some time to get accustomed to raising my voice, or even my hands, in church.   I am still a work in progress.  However, I have realized that withholding from God what I freely give to man is what’s truly irreverent.

God,

I pray that we do not let our pride or fear prevent us from freely worshiping you.  Lord, allow us to experience the joy that comes from fully committing ourselves to you.  In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen!

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