Playing Second Fiddle

Written by Sister Michelle Watson on Thursday, October 22, 2015. Posted in Devotional

Playing Second Fiddle

The other day, I was thinking about some wonderful, dear saints who recently stopped attending church because … well … a significant other became their No. 1 priority. How often have I seen an individual stop attending right after getting into a romantic relationship?

In a moment of weakness, I wailed to my husband, "Why do the things of God always have to play second fiddle to sex?!"

I'm embarrassed to even type it. But I did say it.

Even though I was critical of my dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I know that I've been just as guilty, letting my spirituality play second fiddle to highly unworthy competitors.

"Second fiddle" refers to something that is less important than something else.

One Stop English, a resource of Macmillan Education publishing, defines "playing second fiddle" this way:

"Unsurprisingly, the expression is generally held to have its origins in the world of music. In early orchestras the most prominent and high profile member of the orchestra was the musician who played the lead (or first) violin. Naturally, there would also be other violinists in the string section of the orchestra but these would not be as important or honoured as the lead violinist. These other violinists became known as second fiddles."

If everything in my life — my thoughts, actions, motivations, and decisions — produces music like that of an orchestra, then who is the most prominent and high-profile player?

If the answer isn't Jesus Christ, then I need to reevaluate the seating arrangements.

Yes, there are other people and passions in my life that contribute to the overall melody. My family and friends lend a warm, joyous resonance to the song, while work and hobbies trill in background, but my Lord and Savior should always be hitting the high notes and taking the lead.

What about you? Is God's song playing second fiddle to a competing tune in your life?

This article has undergone ministry review and approval.

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Comments (3)

  • Joann Cotellesse

    Joann Cotellesse

    22 October 2015 at 12:24 |
    When I met my husband, he told me that God and his Church always came first. I did not understand but once I met the Lord I totally understood. My husband comes second to God now. I do not believe that Church would come second to God either. Praise God.


  • Sister Michelle

    Sister Michelle

    22 October 2015 at 13:31 |
    That's wonderful, Sister Joann! I hope the moral of my article came through — whenever I'm tempted to be critical of others, I need to look inward at myself and see where I'm falling short in similar ways. Then, instead of complaining about others, I can reach out to them and check up on them with the love of God in my heart!


  • Jerry Morle

    Jerry Morle

    22 October 2015 at 16:17 |
    When I think about everything God has done for me, I experience several different emotions, like awe, gratitude, even surprise given how relatively little I do for Him. I always feel like I’m playing catch up, even though I know I will never actually “catch up”. Yet that doesn’t stop me from pushing myself and others too.

    As I read your post, I found myself agreeing with almost every statement: why do the things of God (church services, activities, and even daily, spiritual maintenance) ever play second fiddle to the things of life (relationships, jobs, hobbies, etc.)?

    I began to reflecting on some situations I am personally aware of. Maybe that Brother’s job (that I fasted he would get!) is so demanding, he needs to take the occasional weekend trip with his wife and miss a few Sunday services; maybe that Sister’s two small children drain her so much she has nothing left on Wednesday night; and maybe that couple’s child participating in sports activities needs to know mom and dad care and support them, even if it conflicts with church outings. Maybe I love these brothers and sisters so much that when they are not around I miss them, and want to share my blessing with them. But hopefully they are serving God too by honoring the gifts (wife and children) He has provided, and nurturing them so they will bear fruit for His Kingdom—now and in the future.

    I take comfort knowing God is not only aware of each situation but of that person’s heart and desires. My prayer is that I serve and honor God in everything I do, and have the grace and love to allow others the same freedom.

    God bless you and keep up the good work!


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