If your life was a song, what would your lyrics be?
When people think of you, what words spring to mind?
When people work for you, what experience do they have?
When people meet you, what is the impression you leave?
There are myriad choices that you make ever day to shape the lyrics of your life. Whether you are in the down tempo intro, the accelerating ramp, or the trailing finale, one of the lesser known verses where you are going solo or the chorus with everyone singing along, the music that is playing only tells a piece of the story, the lyrics are what clarify its purpose and carry its message most directly to the listeners.
You may at times feel that the music of your life is beyond your control – the highs and the lows, the quiet sections and the climaxes, the unison and the harmonies, the solos and the tutti, the dissonant tensions and the relief-filled resolutions — so much emotion, so much passion, so much experience, so many relationships blending together into a symphony written by countless composers, shared by a diversity of players, and yet, in some ways, only appreciated by you.
But the lyrics — the lyrics are all written by you.
The lyrics of your life are yours and yours alone. They are your story. They are your message. They are your purpose and your identity expressed for others to see. They are what you bring to light and what you share, what you communicate and what you stand for. They are you as others experience you. They are the interface between you and the world. And what they say, what the demonstrate, what they illustrate, what they inspire, what they encourage, what they build, what they strengthen, and what they empower is all up to you.
Consider for a minute that there are Christian musicians that are playing heavy metal, country, bluegrass, classical, pop, R&B, hip hop, and more. And across all of that variety, it is not the music that determines the message, it is the lyrics which share the gospel of salvation. Regardless of what music is empowering their purpose and supporting their mission to reach more for Christ, it is the lyrics which give identity to the music, not the other way around.
And so it is with your life as well. Whatever the emotional ups and downs, whatever the experiences and the history, whatever the challenges and obstacles, whatever the mistakes and missteps, the story that your life tells is yours to write. You get to choose how to use the music to amplify your message, accentuate your purpose, and empower the lyrics that you compose.
So, take a minute to ask yourself, what are the lyrics of your life? Are you writing faith, hope, and love into the lives of those around you? Are you creating inspiration and encouragement, vision and leadership for those within your reach? Or are you letting others put words to your melody and silence your unique and precious offering?
Something that is often overlooked about the Bible is that it contains a book of lyrics. The book of Psalms is actually just a book of lyrics to 150 different songs. These lyrics, and quite a few tunes, were written by a variety of authors, although almost half of them are attributed to King David of David and Goliath fame. And although we have lost the original scores and no longer know most of the melodies that these songs were originally set to, their messages carry across the ages through their lyrics, allowing present day artists to write their own music to support and communicate those same messages that were composed so long ago.
And that’s the point — it is not just in the moment that your voice has an impact. Your identity, your message, and your character create a lasting legacy in the lives you touch, the people you serve, and the stories you tell.
Your lyrics are more than just a way for you to process your experiences. Your lyrics are more than just a way for you to make something out of what has happened to you. Your lyrics are your chance to communicate your identity through your beliefs to make a difference and contribute from the deepest recesses of who you are something of lasting value.
Jesus used two illustrations to explain this power of your lyrics,
“What is the Kingdom of God like? How can I illustrate it? It is like a tiny mustard seed that a man planted in a garden; it grows and becomes a tree, and the birds make nests in its branches.” – Matthew 13
“What else is the Kingdom of God like? It is like the yeast a woman used in making bread. Even though she put only a little yeast in three measures of flour, it permeated every part of the dough.” – Matthew 13
In these stories the mustard seed is like your identity and the yeast is like your story. At the heart of it, your contribution and your legacy are really the communication of your identity, which, no matter how small you may think you are, has the ability to grow in impact and serve in ways far beyond the simple appearance of the tiny seed it may appear to be. And your story, what you truly believe about yourself and others is like that yeast which although it may appear to be less than the audience it is striving to reach (the flour), has the ability to influence and to elevate people far beyond the first connection or the first conversation where it is shared.
The power of your story, the power of your lyrics, the power of who you are and what you communicate to others is that while it may appear to start small and relatively contained as you love, share, serve, offer, and connect with people, you are creating a moment and a message that can be shared beyond your reach.
Your lyrics are just the beginning of a story that reaches from you to others, and from them onto even more as God uses you to amplify His message, fulfill His promises, and accomplish His purposes in your life and the lives of everyone around you.
So choose thoughtfully what you stand for, what you represent, what you communicate, and what you demonstrate in your relationships. Consider what you offer, how you offer it, and what story you tell about it. And then choose with purpose and intention the lyrics that you compose for your life, with your life, and by your life, so that you can open yourself to the super natural abundance of favor that God is looking to accomplish in your life, and like David you can conclude that,
“My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.” – Psalm 23