Dr. Dan Hayden •

It is said that “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Well, a song is really an emotional picture. It can often communicate what words fail to express.

When the Apostle Paul wrote that singing praises to God was an evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit, he mentioned three types of music. In Ephesians 5:19 he said, “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” In addition to singing Psalms and hymns he said that it’s also good to sing spiritual songs.

The word “songs” is a general term for any words that are sung.


Psalms are Hebrew poetry set to music, and Hymns are religious metrical compositions; but everything else is a song, and that has its place in Christian worship, too. The text specifically says “spiritual songs” – songs motivated by the Spirit of God in praise of the Lord.

There have been many wonderful spiritual songs given to the church in recent years by gifted composers and musicians. Years ago the Christian world rejoiced with the songs of John W. Peterson, and Bill and Gloria Gaither. Today the names are changing with great musicians like Michael W. Smith, Michael Card, and Steve Green. But the result is the same: the creation of spiritual songs that express the great truths of the faith and the glory of our wonderful Savior.

In 1922 Rhea Florence Miller wrote a great song that was later popularized by George Beverly Shea, entitled “I’d Rather Have Jesus:” I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold; I’d rather be His than have riches untold; I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands; I’d rather be led by His nail-pierced hand.” Isn’t that a great spiritual song?!

Now you know the real meaning of the Word. This is Dan Hayden. Say, do you appreciate good Christian music? It’s one of the great blessings of life!