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I've Got a Mansion

For all my readers who grew up in a Baptist church, “I’ve Got a Mansion” is a song you most likely learned as a child. I know I’ve probably sung the song dozens, if not hundreds, of times in my lifetime, and it’s one I’ve always enjoyed singing. After all, what can be better than singing about heaven and getting a mansion to live in?  

While co-leading a Bible study recently, one of the attendees requested we sing “I’ve Got a Mansion.”  Since the song has an uplifting, “feel good” message, I looked forward to singing it. Unfortunately, I paid special attention to the words as I sang, and I surprised myself by disliking them. Never before had I realized what a self-centered and “all about me” message the lyrics portray.

My first clue of this was in the last line of the first verse where it speaks of the singer wanting a silver-lined, gold dwelling place. In verse two, there is the expressed belief that the singer will be given a mansion of his/her own. Verse three expresses the desire for a mansion, a harp and a crown.  Lastly, per the chorus, the singer won’t just be given a mansion, but it will be a mansion just over the hilltop, in a bright land where we’re never grow old. 

Now, on the surface, the message sounds great. Who wouldn’t want to be showered with such priceless gifts and live in such opulence? I certainly would!  

However, as I sang the words of this popular hymn, I tried to visualize a more realistic understanding of heaven. What I came up with is that heaven is certainly not about me getting a gold, silver-lined mansion over a hilltop. It’s not about me getting a harp, a crown or walking on streets of gold. I’ll never be able to do anything in my lifetime that will merit my receiving these things. That I might receive any of these items will be based solely on God’s grace and His promises of providing for me.

I also anticipate feeling unworthy to even be in the Lord’s presence, so I will approach Him with humility, possibly falling prostrate at His feet.  My sole desire will be to worship Him, and give Him the glory and honor He deserves. Therefore, heaven certainly won’t be about me. The Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, paid for my entry into heaven with His blood. Therefore, heaven is about Him. In reality, I believe that I will be so overwhelmingly grateful for just getting to be in heaven that I won’t care if God gives me a dilapidated, leaky, shanty shack as my dwelling place.  

I’m sure the author’s intent when penning the lyrics of “I’ve Got a Mansion” was to inject an anticipation within the singer to be excited about going to heaven. But I have to admit, that day in June 2017 the lyrics fell flat. I found the words’ message to be arrogant and totally missing the mark of why one should really be excited about going to heaven. 

Receiving a beautiful, golden mansion in heaven cannot compare to what the Lord has already given me here on earth, such as love, mercy, forgiveness, peace and an abundance of grace. Those are the gifts that are priceless, and I already have them. Nevertheless, I’m excited about going to heaven so I can join the celestial choir in singing the greatest song ever written: “Worthy is the Lamb.”

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