Maybe you clicked on this article out of curiosity. On the other hand, maybe you’re reading this expecting to disagree with me. Whatever you came here for, thanks for joining me.
I love music. Music makes working easier and relaxing more enjoyable. I love to put on my headphones and turn up a favorite playlist.
Because it is so important and common, music can be a controversial subject. Some people are passionate about their favorite genres, artists, and songs, and they don’t want legalistic rules to worry them. I can relate to them. There is also a group that solely listens to Christian music. I can relate to these people too.
Btw: I use the word “secular” in this article to describe any music that is not Christian music.
I can relate to both groups because I’ve been in both. When I was young, I only listened to Christian music, thinking that listening to secular music was sinful. Then I actually heard some secular music and found that it wasn’t all bad. I continued exploring music and eventually heard some songs that I loved (but some that also fueled sin in my mind). I knew some of it was unhealthy, but I didn’t want to stop listening to my favorite songs. Finally, I found a balance a couple weeks ago: listening to secular and Christian music after evaluating how different songs were affecting me and sifting through them based on several questions.
I believe music is a gift from God, and I see the power of music when it changes my emotions and actions. I also believe we must follow God in every area of our lives, including our music choices.
I have no list of do’s and don’ts. I’m not going to tell you what to listen to, what swear words to avoid, or what genres to skip. What you listen to is a personal decision, and I want to help you to evaluate your own music . I want to give you a way to sift through songs and honor God while not getting stuck on a set of rules.
Step back and re-think the music coming through your earbuds. Think of your favorite playlists and ask yourself the 5 questions below. It doesn’t have to be complicated, and you don’t have to use all 5. I hope they help you pick an amazing playlist!
1. How does this make me feel?
Music has power to make you feel a certain way. Does your music make you mad? Does your music make you depressed? Sometimes when I‘m upset or sad, I choose music that matches my emotions. Think about whether you really want these emotions before you encourage them. Along with that, does your music make you feel too “dirty” to pray? If so, you should seriously rethink your music.
2. How does this make me think?
Is your music fueling dirty thoughts? Some songs fuel lust, hate, or jealousy, but God calls Christians to think of things that are true, good, and beautiful.
3. Is this fueling sin?
This may seem extreme to some of you, but I believe music has power to change the way we feel, think, and act. Ask yourself: does your music make it harder to obey God?
4. Does it disrespect God?
I’m not saying every song needs perfect theology, but we should avoid songs that directly disrespect God. I’ve seen the most disrespect in music when the song treats God as a boyfriend or misrepresents God’s character (“God is a Woman” etc.). Is your music misrepresenting God?
5. Is this desensitizing me to sin?
This question especially applies to the sensuality we hear so often in secular music. If sexual lyrics are constantly in our earbuds, it is MUCH harder to think pure thoughts. I also use this question to evaluate language. Is there so much swearing in the song that your head is filled with it and you’re desensitized to it?
When we put on our headphones, we don’t just let in a good beat. The music we listen to affects the way we feel, think, and act. Music is powerful, and we need to follow God even when we decide what songs to listen to.
If you realize that you need to remove some songs, do some more exploring and look for new songs to replace them. Don’t just get rid of unhealthy songs. Look for upbeat, fun songs that you LOVE to take their place.
Enjoy your music while keeping your eyes open (or ears open) to what you’re listening to.
What do you think about Christians and secular music? Do you agree or disagree with me? I would love to hear from you in the comments below!
Note to my readers:
You might have noticed I’ve been posting twice a week for a few months. After looking at my summer plans, I decided to scale back a bit by posting once a week so I can have time for podcasting, theReb, and other summer activities. Thanks so much for sticking with me on my blogging journey!