The basic definition of insanity is “the derangement of mind.” But there’s also another definition, one that applies when the word insanity isn’t used in a clinical sense but as a more casual description. That’s this:
Extreme foolishness; folly.
That’s how we typically use the word. We use it when we see something that doesn’t make sense according to our paradigm. We use it to describe someone’s workout regimen; we use it when we observe when someone goes to bed or when or how early they getup in the morning; we use it when we hear about someone trying to get downtown at 4:45 pm on a Tuesday.
But likely, if you are a Christian, it’s also a term that’s been used about you. And that makes sense doesn’t it? At least it does when you consider what we do, say, and believe from the perspective of someone who does not. What else would you say about people who show up week after week just to listen to someone talk about what an ancient book says? What else would you say about people who choose not to seek their own good and forgo ? What else would you say to those who willingly give away the first portion of their hard-earned income every month?
Insanity. Extreme foolishness. Folly. That’s what you would say about such people.
And there is no other pattern of behavior in the life of the Christian about which the term is more applicable than worship. Worship – that time when a group of grown adults stand and sit together. That time when people raise their hands and sing out loud. That time when educated men and women sing praise to something they cannot see or touch or taste or smell. Worship, to the onlooker, is insanity. Extreme foolishness. Folly.
And maybe those onlookers have a point. Worship doesn’t make us any richer. It doesn’t make any of our problems go away. It doesn’t cure our diseases or fix our broken relationships or stop us from being under appreciated by our bosses or spouses. True enough, worship changes our perspective on all these circumstances, but we don’t walk out of a worship experience with everything perfect.
We sing. We focus. We pray. And all we’ve really done is spend an hour inside a building. Perhaps an hour that might well have spent doing other things. More profitable things. More “useful” things. Extreme foolishness. Folly.
The insanity of worship, though, hinges on something else we do when we worship. And that “something” is at the core of what it means to truly worship. When we worship God, we are acknowledging the truth about Him. We are, in many ways, standing in the face of all those circumstances and making the declaration that there is a greater truth than the truth of our senses. By faith, we are acknowledging the God of the Bible. And if what the Bible says is true, then acknowledging that truth might seem like a foolishly spent hour, but it is the most sane kind of insanity there is.