Amy Grant "I Have Decided" for or against works?

In this song, is she speaking for or against works?

I Have Decided
[Chorus:]
I have decided
I’m gonna live like a believer
Turn my back on the deceiver
I’m gonna live what I believe
I have decided
Being good is just a fable
I just can’t, cause I’m not able
I’m gonna leave it to the Lord

There’s a wealth of things that I profess
I said that I believed
But deep inside, I never changed
I guess I’d been deceived
Cause a voice inside kept telling me
That I’d change by and by
but the Spirit made it clear to me
That kind of life’s a lie

[Chorus]

So forget the game of being good
And your self-righteous pain
Cause the only good inside your heart
Is the good that Jesus brings
When the world begins to see you change
Don’t expect them to applaud
Just keep your eyes on Him and tell yourself
I’ve become the work of God

[Chorus]

praize.com/music/lyrics/amy_grant/inspirationalsongs.html#6

I have absolutely no idea. :shrug:

Maybe she’s talking about ceasing to live like a hypocrite.

But then…isn’t that a work in itself? :shrug:

What I get from these lyrics, is that she is speaking of those who fight so hard for the ‘image’. The ‘perfect’ never do wrong Christian, that we all strive to be.
Sometimes, we forget that all the ‘works’ in the world won’t save us, only the Grace of God. We get caught up in the ‘image’.
You can donate time/money, council/evangelize, run yourself ragged ‘doing’, but until you realize that you are helpless, and imperfect, and give your life over to God, you will not know peace.

Just my thoughts.

If that’s the song I think it is, it’s an oldie! And from the Evangelical way of thinking, so as far as Catholic Theology goes,not real accurate.

But! That said, it does contain some truth and a potetntially good message, which one of the other posters picked up on. I think we can be uplifted even if something is not 100% doctrinally correct…sort of not throwing out the baby with the bathwater kind of thing. “To the pure, all things are pure…”

I especially like the last line:

Just keep your eyes on Him and tell yourself
I’ve become the work of God.

Peace,

Kelly

I’m a huge Amy Grant fan-have been for years. I remember when this song was fairly new (off the Age to Age album, which, if I remember correctly, came out in '83-many people don’t realize she’s been around since '77 :slight_smile: ).

I don’t think she’s preaching against “works”. What she’s saying is that we shouldn’t be living to get our works noticed-living for the attention. And our “works” do little good if our heart isn’t in the right place. She’s talking about a person who has been giving the appearance of walking with God, but the truth is that she’s “talking the talk but not walking the walk”. The person has decided to stop living a life of hypocricy and start living what she’s preaching.

Scout :tiphat:

Yes, that’s the album. “El Shaddai”, the Michael Card song she covered, is on that album too. We used to sing “El Shaddai” at Mass when I was in high school back when it was a current hit.

I don’t think she’s preaching against “works”. What she’s saying is that we shouldn’t be living to get our works noticed-living for the attention. And our “works” do little good if our heart isn’t in the right place. She’s talking about a person who has been giving the appearance of walking with God, but the truth is that she’s “talking the talk but not walking the walk”. The person has decided to stop living a life of hypocricy and start living what she’s preaching.

Scout :tiphat:

Thanks for the analysis, Scout. That makes sense. :slight_smile:

Personally, I doubt that she was thinking one way or the other about works (was that actually written by Amy Grant? I forget…)

But the interesting bit of trivia I have for it is that when Bill and Gloria Gaither recorded it, they didn’t like the message they heard in it, and changed the words to something like:

I have decided
being good is not a fable.
I know I can 'cause He is able.
I’m gonna leave it to the Lord.

So now we can all try to figure out if that version is for or against works… :slight_smile:

Guess I should expand on that a bit, from my Evangelical background.

The reason I said what I did is that a lot of Evangelicals don’t object to the “being good” part, it’s to the fact that they might have to “work” at it. The “being good” should come naturally from a combination of being so grateful for having sins forgiven that you wouldn’t even dream of sinning, and having a new nature that just naturally won’t even want to sin.

If you actually want to sin, and have to exert will power to not sin and feel a sense of sacrifice in not sinning, THAT’s a “work”, and you’ve got a spiritual problem somewhere: either you’re not fully surrendured to Jesus, or at worst, not even saved at all.

So given that, I really have no idea how to answer the original question!

I don’t know if she wrote it or not. None of the websites that I looked at that had the lyrics mentioned who wrote them. I don’t have the Age to Age album, although I’ve downloaded some songs off of it (legally).

But the interesting bit of trivia I have for it is that when Bill and Gloria Gaither recorded it, they didn’t like the message they heard in it, and changed the words to something like:

I have decided
being good is not a fable.
I know I can 'cause He is able.
I’m gonna leave it to the Lord.

So now we can all try to figure out if that version is for or against works… :slight_smile:

:shrug: I never knew that the Gaithers recorded that song. I have always been a fan of CCM and Christian Rock, but I never really got into Southern Gospel.

The song is classic evangelical theology:

We cannot be “good” or do “good works.” Only Christ can, through us. All we have to do is sit back and allow Christ to work through us.

If we TRY to be good or do good works, we are demonstrating a lack of faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross and practicing a salvation by works rather than faith.

If we are truly Christians, we won’t be interested in sin anymore. If we practice sin, then we probably aren’t truly Christians, and we need to pray again to ask Jesus into our heart, but this time, we must really MEAN it.

:nope:

I always KNEW something was wrong with this theology. It seemed to contradict so much of the New Testament. But hey, it sure beats working, doesn’t it? No more agonizing over our sins–after all, Jesus will take care of them and we shouldn’t do anything to get in His way. No more trying to be good, because if Jesus wants us to do something good, He will make it happen in our lives.

It’s the EASY way to be a Christian!

And it really worked for Amy, who divorced her husband (after they had three children together), and within a few months, married Vince Gill who had just divorced his wife. Frankly, I don’t think that she should have known Vince Gill well enough to be his friend, let alone marry him within a few months after divorcing her husband. She was a married woman, for goodness’ sake, and yet she was obviously getting to know her future second husband. :hmmm:

Thanks for the explanation, Cat. :slight_smile: This is really helpful. I understand better where she was coming from. I was somewhat perplexed by the lyrics.

I believe the song was also written by Michael Card, same guy who wrote “El Shaddai.”

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