“Live the Life I Sing About in my Song”


In a blog on the Inward Outward website, Kayla McClurg of The Church of the Saviour says, “We tend to make [Jesus] into a paper-thin replica of our ideas of “holy” rather than let him be the full range of human emotion and being. I see a peacemaker, reconciler, voice for the voiceless, full of compassion and truth-telling.  As well as provocateur, uprooter, sometimes a bit sarcastic and short-tempered. He is a loyal friend and trusted confidant, steady in times of trouble. Even so, he tires of our whining, urges us to grow up and take responsibility for repairing our sorry messes.”

As I mulled over this incisive quote, I remembered a black gospel song I had heard recently: I’m Gonna Live the Life I Sing about in my Song.  This morning I realized why  I kept putting the two together.  As  an Apprentices of Jesus, I have signed up to follow him by example and by word. I’m not allowed to follow asingingn “easy” Jesus, a pale and polite adaptation of my own creation; I must follow the Jesus that the gospels describe. One thing I  know about Jesus is that he was the same inside and out. What you saw was what you got – every time.  If I long to follow that  Jesus, I have to come to grips with the life that he modeled.  This is where the gospel song comes in:  I have to be willing to live the life I sing about with my song (or my blog)!  

Here’s the first verse of Thomas A. Dorsey’s famous black gospel song:

I’m gonna live the life I sing about in my song
I’m gonna stand for right and I always shun the wrong
If I’m in the crowd, If I’m alone
On the streets or in my home
I’m gonna live the life I sing about in my song

Am I the same at home as I am when I am out with people? Are my principles the same no matter what the situation? Is my language respectful wherever I am or do I “let loose” in some situations?  If people are watching me, will they be disappointed because I don’t “always stand for right and shun the wrong.”

My goal is to live my life like I sing my song!  How about you?


 I can’t resist a footnote about the composer of this song.  Thomas Andrew Dorsey (1899 – 1993) was known as “the father of black gospel music” and was at one time so closely associated with the field that songs written in the new style were sometimes known as “dorseydorsey 2s. Dorsey created gospel music that combined Christian praise with the rhythms of jazz and the blues. His best-known composition, Take My Hand, Precious Lord, was written after the death of his wife in childbirth which was followed by the death of the child a few days later. He also wrote Peace in the Valley

To listen to I’m Gonna Live the Life I Sing about in my Song, search for the title and choose one of the YouTube versions.  My favorite is by Mahalia Jackson.

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