I LOVE music….soo much! There’s nothing like getting in my car and striking up my favorite playlist or sitting on my porch and rocking away to a new artist I just found. Right now I’m listening to a new artist I found and have enjoyed all weekend – Scott Mulvahill. His song 1000 (that’s the title) is playing right now. It’s about how I have a long journey ahead of me to reach my goals/dreams and if I allow fear, laziness, or other obstacles to keep me from moving then I’ll die without ever realizing the very things I was on this earth to do. To balance that, he has a song called Top Of The Stairs which reminds me it’s not about how far I go in life, but enjoying the journey. What a great balance! I’m excited to add these two songs to my arsenal. When I strike up my playlists I want to be reminded of valuable truths like these regularly. I need constant encouragement, polite pushes, and truthful reminders to keep my life on track.
Music is so overwhelmingly powerful. I doubt many of us have realized how powerful music really is. It creates atmospheres. It is able to take messages past our minds and to our hearts in ways that just normal speaking or reading is unable to do. Musicians will always be ahead of us writers and orators in the power they have on people. Music also takes things to our memory and our working minds in almost intrusive ways. Have you ever had a song in your head that you just couldn’t make stop? It happens to me all the time. That’s a good reason to make sure the music I’m listening to is music I won’t mind having stuck in my head!
Since music is so powerful, I choose music based on careful priorities:
- It must be artful. I have no interest in cheap music that took no talent
- It must be truthful. I do not want music to pollute my world with lies.
- it must be helpful. Some music is only helpful if you want to live a backwards life where money is the most important measure of success, the opposite sex is a sex object which negates meaningful relationships, and crime is ok but to hold someone accountable is wrong.
I’ve worked with teens for a long time and I can tell you in all the generations I’ve worked with:
- Music was important to all of them
- The music that was popular for them as a kid was a joke later (don’t take yourself too seriously at any stage of life – everything will change)
- For many of them music was either a coping skill (helpful) or a coping mechanism (unhelpful, keeps them stuck)
My advice about music is this:
- Don’t fall into the lie that the lyrics do not matter. Honestly, I believe the “spirit” of music is what is most important and it takes discernment to discover that. The lyrics are the best first step at discerning a song’s spirit. The life of the artist is another. Asking Holy Spirit how He feels about it is advanced music selection skills.
- Make sure the music is lining up with your values. Do you want to value the opposite sex or do you objectify them? Do you want to be a victim with a victim mentality or do you want to be inspired to keep going and overcome? Do you want to be full of grudges and bitterness or do you want to be a good forgiver? Do you want to live for money or for something more meaningful? Do you want to live a life before God that makes him happy or do you want to smear his gift of life with sin? Do you want to live a life of addiction and teach others to do the same or do you want to live your life unhindered by such foolishness?
Does the music you listen to match the answers to these questions? If not, wake up! The pied piper may have bewitched you into his spell.
You may have settled for the music that your peers liked and never explored the mind blowing availability of solid music that meets the criteria above. You can find music you like AND makes you a better person at the same time. When you do, you will be so glad to have put negative music behind you.