We are running the race of life but something has happened. Our routine has been interrupted; nothing is quite like it was just a month ago. We are home and we are filling our time with virtual classes, books, movies, and music. Even in this strange time of quarantine we must be intentional about how we entertain ourselves.
Music is a beautiful gift from God. We see throughout the Bible that music was made for the bettering of our brothers and sisters in Christ, and for praising the Lord. As it says in Ephesians 5:19, we are to be “addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with our hearts.” However, music has been distorted and cluttered with worldly topics; it no longer gives all of the glory to God. In fact, music is used as an escape from reality… a place where abstract words give validity to our sinful emotions and the desires of our flesh. Secular music gives too much credit to our fallen selves. We shouldn’t dwell on our immediate gratification, we are to set our minds on the things that are above, not the things that are on earth (Colossians 3:2).
As Christians, we are set apart; we are supposed to look different than the world. We are supposed to turn away from profanity, self-loathing, and scandal which are the topics highlighted in many secular songs today. However, you don’t have to go far to find someone listening to dirty music and all the while professing Christianity. You cannot have it both ways, either a song glorifies God or it dishonors God. Music that makes the affairs of men more important than God is simply not biblical.
With that said, it is not unbiblical to take notice of our feelings. The psalms prove this with their various words of joy, despair, fear, and trust. Our feelings and emotions are a part of us, but they should not control our actions and we should not put them on a pedestal. Yes, enjoy the gift of music, keep your eyes open for secular music that can be used to praise God. But make sure you take every thought captive and do not allow the seeds of sin to grow in your heart or soften your godly conviction. Think of the tenth chapter of Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians as he reminds them that the real battle takes place in the heart and soul. “Take every thought captive to obey Christ.”
Children can learn to love the God-centered hymns of old and the new praise songs of today if they are exposed to them more than they are exposed man-focused songs. Noticing the meaning and words of a song before deciding if it is worth listening to is also something children can be taught. But they have to be taught because self-discipline does not come naturally.
Remember the warning to the elders in 1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” The devil would like nothing better than to capture us with the catchy tune of a worldly song and let us slip into a blind acceptance of sin. Our main concern is not what the world thinks of us, but rather it is what God thinks of us. He is the one who gives us a true enjoyment of life. When we look to the world for answers, “They said ‘boy you just follow your heart, but my heart just led me into my chest. They said, ‘follow your nose’, but the direction changed every time I went and turned my head. And they said, ‘boy you just follow your dreams’, but my dreams were only misty notions. But the Father of hearts and the Maker of noses and the Giver of dreams, He’s the one I have chosen, and I will follow Him (Maker of Noses- Rich Mullins).”
So, we continue to run the race that is set before us, taking each hurdle in stride and trusting in our Lord to provide. Our race has taken an unexpected turn but our goal to love the Lord with all of our heart, soul, and mind remains the same.
Written by Grace Welch