Music is one of the most powerful things that I believe we have and possess. It has the power and feeling to bring tears to one’s eyes, to touch hearts, and inspire thousands. Music is very involved in our lives. Whether it is while we work out, when we are writing a paper, just laying around, the soundtrack to a movie, or we are playing the music ourselves; music is always present.
I love music. Since I was seven years old, I’ve played the acoustic guitar so that I could lead worship songs. I can’t tell you how long I’ve been singing. Its a memory that I have always had. This part of my life has always been there and I can’t imagine life without music. God has given us a great gift to be able to use for expressing our feelings, sharing stories, and gathering together with others in music. That this gift is from God. We know that God gave certain people the gift of music to share with others for a reason. That reason is to glorify Him.
At my youth group on Wednesday nights, we are talking about our culture. Each week we are going to look at different things like songs, movies, and television shows to see what messages we are hearing everyday from different things we take in. What was so interesting was taking a secular song and comparing it’s themes and messages to what the Bible said about that theme. When we looked at ‘Uptown Funk’s lyrics on paper, it was like a totally different song than what we’ve been hearing again and again and again and again… and again. I had to take a step back.
I love that song! It is so catchy, it is so fun. And because dancing is my favorite activity (no, I’m not a dancer I just like to dance!) I love grooving to this song. When I saw the lyrics, I saw what I was dancing to. A big theme in this song is pride. We also discussed vanity at youth group. While this song is so much fun, I didn’t like the message that I was reading into.
Secular music is not bad. Or let me say this; not all secular music is bad! I believe there are a lot of songs out there that’s sole purpose is to promote sex, prostitution, drugs, alcohol abuse, and partying. Yet these are the songs that we are demanding so much more of. When I hear songs like that, it makes me think of where I once was before I became serious about my faith. When I was in middle school, I knew Jesus, but I wanted to be cool so bad. I wanted to grow up and be the high schooler who would go to all the parties and be the girl that all the guys wanted to hang out with. It may sound silly to you, but some songs bring back memories of me trying to fit in and grow up to be “cool” like these people that were singing these songs about sex and alcohol and partying like “there is no tomorrow”. Personally, that wasn’t a good place for me. I wasn’t growing. I wasn’t becoming a better person. I was focused on me. Which is exactly what some of these songs promote. It’s all about me.
I like real music. Everyone has their own definition, but I believe in music that has depth and a great sound. I love when I can see an artist play a song just because they love being in the moment with the song not because they love the attention they’re getting from their adoring fans in the audience. Those artists deserve the awards and being #1 on the charts.
We need to be real with our music. We need to be authentic with what we listen to. Whatever we take in fills our hearts. Our music also says a lot about us. If your music is shallow and just “has a good beat”, what does that say? Do you ever think about how you influence others with the music you listen to or play?
Again, secular music is not bad. I love all kinds of music. Except country… But hey, that’s just me. I listen to music that relates to me, that has a cool and different sound, and that can lift me up. Ultimately, any kind of music that I listen to can honor and glorify God if I’m choosing songs that have a good message. Songs that have a good beat and are just for fun are always going to be there. We will jam in the car or go to a wedding and belt out “Yeah” by Usher… But we need to make sure that our hearts see what is on that sheet of lyrics.
That physical piece of paper of lyrics really prompted me to look at myself and to make sure that I don’t just listen to anything for the fun of it. Music is great and I want to make sure that my music has a positive effect in my life. If I want my life to glorify God, that means my music should too. Think about what you listen to and how you fill yourself up. Maybe take some time to give up secular music for awhile just to see what kind of impact your music was having on you before and after that break. Christian music will not kill you. It is sad to me how many of my Christian friends think that it will. There are so many amazing Christian artists out there that are making music by glorifying Jesus with their talents. I really appreciate that and love God. So why not listen to music about Him?
This series at church really challenged me and I hope it challenges you as well. Put good things in your heart and you will pour out good things to others.
1 Kings 8:61- Let your heart therefore be wholly true to the LORD our God, walking in his statutes and keeping his commandments, as at this day.
Proverbs 4:23- Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
Here are some awesome songs that I have been listening to lately! And yes, I love Phil Collins:
Meridian (full album) by the Soil & the Sun- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztpIl-k9Zvc
Geronimo by Sheppard- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozsmSlvGHv4
Run Boy Run by Woodkid- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eje2r90MkGE
Love is War (Acoustic) by Hillsong UNITED- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMUaqizunxg
You Can’t Hurry Love by Phil Collins- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WPj0r5U41M
Shine Like Lightning by Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIioazf71DE