On Wednesdays nights, we’ve started a guy/girl study. Basically, we’re just sitting our students down and letting them talk about issues that plague their lives. Last week we talked about dating. And they had some really encouraging things to say. I’ll write about that soon, but there’s one issue that’s been brought up a lot recently among students I’ve talked to. Should we feel guilty when we listen to “secular” music? Are Christians allowed to listen to whatever music they want to? What do you think? Well, here’s what I think:
It depends on YOU.
I know that for me, I can have the lyrics to a song borderline memorized after hearing it one time. So if the song has cussing or a questionable message, those things are running through my mind like a hamster on a shiny wheel. Then, those words jump away from the song and creep their way into other sentences in my head. How long will it take before they start nose diving out of my mouth?
Ephesians 4:29 definitely pops into my head regarding these questions. It says “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
Dictionary.com defines “unwholesome” as “deleterious to…moral well-being.” Wow. So, when we’re feeding unwholesome talk into our brains, does it effect our moral well-being? You bet it does.
When I realized how much the music I listened to was effecting my thought process, the first step I took was to delete any song from my iTunes that didn’t glorify God. I want to honor Him with every aspect of my life, including what I allow myself to listen to. Does that mean I can’t listen to the ‘Les Miserables’ soundtrack? What about Adele? Or Frank Sinatra? No.
Not everyone is like me, though. Some people can hear a song a million times and never actually know what the words are. My sister, for example, makes up words that sound like the ones on the song. I have a friend that just hums the melody when she doesn’t know the words. So maybe lyrics don’t effect them as strongly as they do me.
How often do we get stuck on the do’s and don’ts of Christianity? I’ve heard students say that they didn’t want to get caught up in the “whole God thing” because they wanted to be able to live their lives. We focus so much on what other people are doing wrong or right, that we let our real mission on Earth suffer: loving God and loving others. There’s no in-between, no secret agenda. We need to focus on following God whole heartedly. For some people, that means changing the movies they watch and the music they listen to. For others, that may not be a big road block.
What’s wrong with cussing? If that’s where you’re at, then all I’m going to toss your way are these verses:
James 3:9-12, “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.”
If you’re reading this and you want to get away from certain types of music, you just feel like all Christian music sounds like DC Talk or Audio Adrenaline, brace yourself to be surprised. Send me an email, FB message, snail mail, whatever…tell me your favorite “secular” bands, and I’ll send you a CD with Christian music that sounds the same.
I challenge you to go a week only listening to music that glorifies God and tell me if it changes how you see things. Are you thinking differently? Leave me a comment and let me know!
Listening to: “Rain Down” by B. Reith