Honest Hymns by Mark Yeakley

FL - Yeakley 150x150Last Sunday morning Toby said he sometimes struggles with singing certain hymns because he’s not perfectly living up to the statements made in the song. For instance, the last stanza of the invitation song that morning had me asking God to “take myself, and I will be ever, only, all for Thee.” Obviously we all have to sing that as a goal and not as a claim that we always live that way.

There are actually quite a few songs I’ve had the same struggle with. One of the toughest is “I Surrender All.” If I’m honest, I have to change the words and sing “I Surrender Some.”

I have often thought that many of our hymns should be sung as goals rather than bold professions of reality. And what if someone invented a “truth detector” that could hear what a person should really be singing in place of the words in the hymn?

I hope none of these “honest hymns’ fits you better than the original.

  • “I Need Thee Every Now and Then”
  • “I Have Decided to Follow My Friends”
  • “Jesus Let Go of My Hand”
  • “My Hope is Built on Nothing Much”
  • “More Worldliness Give Me”
  • “O Master, Let Me Walk by Myself”
  • “I’ll Be a Fair-Weather Friend to Jesus”
  • “Soldiers of Christ sit down, and put your armor up.”
  • “Must Jesus bear the cross alone? Yeah, that’s okay with me.”
  • “My eyes are dry, my faith is cold (and that’s okay, if truth be told).”
  • “I am resolved quite longer to linger, charmed by the world’s delights.”
  • “There’s a fountain free, but it’s not for me…”
  • “My faith is up a tree, Thou Lamb of Calvary…”
  • “When the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be somewhere else.”