We all know the feeling of riding in the car with the windows down, screaming the words to our favorite song. When we are in a sad mood, we just want to listen to music that harps on that feeling. When we are mad, we want to listen to music that encourages that emotion. We think this is trivial and a fun thing to do, but how are our music choices really affecting us?
Music is what we fill our hearts, soul, and mind with constantly. How can we think this does not affect our spiritual life? Matthew 12:34 says, “… How can your words be good if you are rotten within? For what has been stored up in your hearts will be heard in the overflow of your words!”
The problem is we do not like Christian music, right? There is a stereotype that Christian music is boring, unprofessional and mediocre compared to secular music. People think it’s lower quality, cheaply made, not catchy and just overall not good. Why is this? Why is the reputation for Christian music so negative, especially among Christians?
Media, society and even the Christian music industry has created a false sense of what Christian music really is. It’s something we sing on Sundays, maybe we listen to with our mom, or make a playlist so people see that we are Christians. We think anything that plays on 104.7 The Fish radio station is all that Christian music has to offer, and so we drop it.
If you are interested in music at all, you know radio stations do not always play the best songs. They stream the overplayed, popular-from-10-years ago radio versions. That’s what most Christian radio stations do, so why do we think Matthew West, Chris Tomlin and Casting Crowns are all that Christian music has to offer?
There are many outlets to find these “little known” artists. Apple Music, Spotify or whatever platform you listen to music on has Christian sections with curated playlists filled with any kind of music you like.
There are millions of Christian artists to choose from besides the overplayed MercyMe or Newsboys. You can find Christian music in a variety of genres– rock, indie, rap, alternative, and country–with quality lyrics, quality instrumentation and quality voices. The variety in Christian music is the same as the variety of secular music. Nothing is specific to one side.
On the other hand, secular music by Drake croons about rape, drugs, and violence; Olivia Rodrigo insults, complains, and threatens herself and others; Doja Cat fantasizes and worships demons. If that’s what’s filling our ears, how can we expect to live a life filled with godly desires, thoughts and actions?
We think that what we put into our minds doesn’t matter, but as Matthew says, what is stored in our heart will overflow into our lives. When we fill ourselves up with worship and God’s word, how do we think our lives will change? And no, not all secular music is “bad” or necessarily “wrong”. But the content, artist and heart of this music should be considered.
Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” When we fill our minds with things that are not true, pure, lovely or worthy of praise then we are not thinking about the things the Lord desires for us. Our minds are thinking of things that are contrary to the word of God.
It is not just a song, a beat or a good voice. What we listen to fills our hearts, souls and minds with either things of God or things of the world. We mindlessly let this in, and it influences us whether we know it or not.