I’ve loved music forever.
My dad has drummed for over 40 years, so I think perhaps I was born with a music gene.
I sang in the choir as a child and young adult, and I played the cello and the piano for eight years (and wish I’d never quit!).
Music has always been and still is a big part of my life.
Back in the day, when epic songs like Jesus Freak and Flood were few and far between, I’d occasionally dabble in secular music.
Just the other day, I remember telling Will when I was in early junior high I’d watch MTV in my bedroom and have the remote pointed directly at the screen so I could immediately change the channel incase my mom walked in.
As I got into high school, I listened to both types of music. I went through a phase when I tossed out all my secular music after a convicting series of sermons about some of the trash (and it was definitely trash) I listened to.
Eventually, I struck a “balance” and listened to both.
Even still, I’d always the put the Christian radio station on anytime I shut off my car to be safe.
You know, incase someone ever rode with me.
Looking back, my intent was twofold-
1. I wanted to create the appearance that everything I listened to was pure and holy.
2. I was actually convicted of what I listened to, hence why I knew I should have had Christian music on in my car. Only, I never stopped to think about the act of why I was changing the channel, aside from number one above!
The best of both worlds, if you will.
Or so I thought.
Oh- and before I go any further, it’s important for me to note this post is personal to me and me alone.
I would never ever say just because I feel this way, it’s the “only” way and the right way.
Please, please know my heart on this. Today’s post is not meant to condemn or judge but offer a look into a major struggle I faced and overcame though Jesus. It’s not about me telling you you’re “wrong” if you don’t only listen to Christian music.
Each of us needs to asses our own hearts and determine whether this is a topic we are convicted by.
This is not a post where I’m looking at all of us in general.
This is very personal.
I would simply encourage you to consider what I share and make your own decision regarding how the spirit moves you.
This is a completely safe and judge free zone, trust me.
Okay- hopefully what I wanted to convey clearly came across there!
Balance. That’s what we were talking about.
I thought I had balance. I thought I could handle and control what I listened to and how it affected me.
I was an adult, for crying out loud!
Adult or not, music influences even when we don’t realize it.
I mean, can you imagine your childhood without the ABC song?
Or the Preamble without School House Rocks?
To this day, I have to sing my multiplication tables because that’s how I learned them.
Music is impressionable.
I can often catch myself singing words to a song hours after merely hearing in the background. I’ll suddenly stop and realize, “Hey! I didn’t even know I knew the words to that song!”
Same with the junk I listened to in the past.
The truth is, I couldn’t control what I did or didn’t absorb.
It began so insidiously.
Completely innocent, even.
Only, over the years, things began to erode. Slowly and continually.
When we moved to Kuwait, I had no spiritual support group and things got worse.
My music began to evolve and get worse and worse.
Oh girls, my face turns red with shame thinking about the complete and utter trash I listened to.
I get it.
Some of you think I’m crazy.
But let me tell you- trash in, trash out.
Before long, I wouldn’t omit the cuss words in the lyrics I’d sing. Before long, my attitude shifted. Before long, I began to justify other things and sins in my life.
And eventually, my heart grew harder and harder until the one single act of my music choice completely uprooted me from God and caused a spiral of awful decisions.
As strange as it may sound, music was a quiet gateway that made me vulnerable and distanced my heart from God.
If Satan told us his end game was to rip us from fellowship with Christ we’d never be okay with that!
That’s why he’s much more clever and sneaky and weaves his way into our life, often unnoticeably.
Music is such an easy and innocent gateway.
When I began to draw near to Jesus again, I became bothered by the stuff I was listening to.
For awhile, I’d reserve my secular music for workouts only.
Except, I’m not ok with rape, murder, and drug use. So why is it ok for me to listen to it at the gym when it wasn’t ok anywhere else?
At some point I figured… Why bother getting caught up in the temporary pleasures, heartache, anger, and whatever else people sing about here on earth, when all I desire is to set my mind on things above, know and honor God, and look to eternity?
That put things in perspective for me.
These days, I pretty much completely listen to Christian music and am extremely selective with anything else.
I’ve found this is my greatest security from temptation.
I feel so much more positive and uplifted listening to positive and uplifting music. Imagine that. Ha!
Again, this is my personal conviction based on my own heart and past.
Reminders of my past are ever near, though, with dozens of purchased songs on my iPhone I’m unable to delete (I’ve tried and tried). I suppose it’s a good exercise in humility and where I’ve been?
Anyway, music is obviously very important to God. He talks about singing songs unto him hundreds of times.
The Bible commands us to sing unto the Lord more than anything else in the Bible- over 800 times! Not only that, but the biggest book the the Bible is devoted to it! God loves our songs of praise.
We also get a glimpse of Heaven and the songs being sung when we look at Revelation.
Our songs are important to God, so they’re important to me.
There’s no more room for the garbage I used to listen to. I’ve wasted enough time on meaninglessness and want to make the most of each day in Christ.
I felt compelled to share my heart on this topic today. If you’ve ever been there, you get it.
If you want to take the plunge and give some good quality Christian music a try (I promise it won’t stink!), I’d be happy to help. Shoot me a note or leave a comment and I will flood you with positive and uplifting music.
I realize today’s post may seem a little crazy, maybe even a little “extreme.”
What can I say, I guess you can label me a Jesus Freak.
Good thing that anthem rocks.