The Christian’s Music
Twenty-two—the number of times instruments is mentioned in the Bible (NIV). Ninety—the number of times music is referred to in His Word. One hundred seven—the number of times singing is discussed. One hundred sixteen—the number of times song or songs is stated. Music obviously had a significant impact in ancient times and clearly has the same effect today. Music can also be a controversial subject. It can raise arguments and heated debates quicker than some other topics. But, when it comes down to it, each individual answers for what they are listening to every day. I am not going to discuss what is wrong to listen to and what it right to listen to; however, I will explain some guidelines I use when choosing my own music. I have three things that I really pay attention to: the lyrics of the song, the artist singing the song, and the effect the song has on my emotions.
First, what are the lyrics being sung in the song? Nowadays, songs are centered more on the beat and tone of the song rather than on the words. For instance, a person is in his car listening to the radio and a “catchy tune” comes on. He thinks, “Wow! I like this!” But then he realizes the song is extremely degrading to women. Should he still be listening to this song? I mean, come on, he’s just listening to the “beat,” right? Wrong. If the lyrics are degrading, vulgar, sexual, et cetera, why would one want to listen to them and fill his mind with that junk? Okay, this is definitely easier said than done. It becomes difficult to switch the station when a song of this sort comes on; however, that is where discretion comes in. You have to force yourself! It is going to take effort. It is going to take will-power. Psalm 19:14 states, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD” (NIV). When those lyrics are sung they become the “words of your mouth” which are not at all pleasing to God. Therefore, if you value your relationship with God, isn’t it worth turning off that song in order to please Him?
Next thing to take into consideration when choosing music is the artist of the song. Who is the person? What kind of person is he? What does he represent? What does he stand for? What does he support? Most of the time, just the one song is taken into consideration rather than the actual person. This individual may have one amazing, uplifting, and inspiring song, but what is he like as a person? Does his song match up with his personal life? For example, an artist has this awesome song about pursuing dreams and never giving up, yet he was arrested five times last year for DWIs. Obviously, he is not pursuing his dreams, unless he dreamed of going to jail. So is it a smart idea to support him as an artist? Probably not. However, there are those artists who are amazing people who sing amazing songs. They are the people actually worth the time to listen to. I Corinthians 15:33 reveals, “Bad company corrupts good character” (NIV). This verse explains that if those you surround yourself with are bad people, they can corrupt your own character. If you listen to an artist whose music is amazing, but his personal life is uninspiring, it could have a negative impact on you as a person.
Finally—but, in my opinion, most importantly—one should consider the emotions behind the song. I believe that music can cause you to feel any emotion. It is powerful and extremely effective. This can be a tremendously good thing or a horribly bad thing. Music can make you feel loved, empowered, ambitioned, and alive; but it can also make you feel bitterness, hatred, lust, rage, and violence. There is a song for absolutely every emotion. Colossians 3:5-6 says, “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming” (NIV). If a song is causing one of these emotions to rise up, you are in a dangerous position. Verse six states that God’s wrath is coming because of these emotions. Therefore, He’s coming after you. Just knowing that the Lord, who has all power in heaven and on earth, is coming after me would be enough to scare those feelings right out of me.
In conclusion, it all comes down to discretion. Are you mature enough to change the radio station? Are you courageous enough to throw away the CDs that cause these unhealthy emotions to occur? Are you concerned enough with your relationship with God to turn the music off? So when you are driving alone in your car and listening to the radio, or when your iPod is on and no one else is around, you have to be the one to choose what is right.