Every year after the holidays, the “returns and exchanges” lines are epic. People stand in line to take back gifts that may be duplicates, don’t fit, or frankly they don’t like. I’ve also received gifts like those in the past, but I made a commitment a few years back never to return anything that someone gave me unless it didn’t fit. This discipline of acceptance has allowed me to broaden my preferences and learn to like new things.
I’ve learned that this discipline can affect other areas of my life as well. For example, most of us are guided by strong preferences when it comes to worship and liturgy. But when it comes to worship, we need to carefully consider how quickly we reject things outside of our preference in the following areas:
- It’s not my size. We each have our own favorite songs, artists, and Pandora playlists. We are perfectly happy with the worship we have selected. Like a comfortable pair of jeans, we like the way they fit.
- It’s not my favorite. We often don’t know how to appreciate or engage in other forms of worship that go beyond our preferences.
What might be keeping you from receiving the gifts of worship from other Christians? What might church communities from different ethnic and cultural back-grounds have to teach you? What might God want to expose you to through worship with the global church?1