Music is influential in our senses, imaginations and learning techniques. This powerful tool is directly linked to the brain waves. It can heal anxiety, depression, insomnia, and short attention spans. It brings alertness, attentiveness, and self-awareness. But it can be used for destructive purposes as well. When we saturate our minds and spirits with lyrics about making love in clubs, it warps our perspective on love. How can we expect to make solid choices when we are dousing our minds with selfish lust-filled stories that dim our spirit’s shimmering light?
I caught myself strumming my pencil to a song…
“You can have whatever you like. If you want it you can get it my dear, 5 million-dollar home… I want your body, I need your body. As long as you got me you won’t need nobody. You want it, I got it. Baby, you can have whatever you like.”
Other than the grammatical errors, the message is plain and clear: I’ll give you money and material items to make you happy and you give me your body in return. I liked the beat of this song, but it wasn’t until I caught a word or two that I started hearing the lyrics for the first time. I was mortified that I could be so pleasantly moved by such a song. The Bible says, “Be on guard. Stand true to what you believe. Be courageous. Be strong.” (1 Cor. 16:13). We need to be cautious of what we allow to filter into our systems. Those songs are seeping into our hearts. How can we listen to the words and not be influenced by them?
We are mistaken if we think these outlets of entertainment have zero effect on our interaction with members of the opposite gender. The more we feed on this monstrous, decaying cadaver the more we will see through the eyes of death. Likewise, when we feed from the grazing territories of God’s hope and truth, life abounds. I’ve concluded it isn’t even worth it to intoxicate my spirit with the catchy tunes.
A healthy lifestyle takes some hard steps of self-control, 20/20 vision for people’s worth and a deeper respect for our spirits. We have to make some tough choices. There is junk food in each of us that must be eliminated. Take time to search out these frivolous time-consumers. It is almost unrealistic to go cold turkey on entertainment and all forms of media, but I highly respect anyone who aims for it. Some of us shifted things around a bit slower, we realized all this gorging on immoral media could create a throng of obese fakes. How can we expect God to speak to us if we are invading His temple with junk? We have to let go of this mindset: It’s all about me. My life, my choices, my rights. That life is short-lived, wasted, and meaningless in the end. We have an incredible chance to be a part of history: HIS-story. Our part can and will impact people. I would rather have the role of an extra in the greatest story ever told than the selfish star in a dull, rundown, typical story that lasts but a pencil prick compared to the space of time. Why waste away, wishing for excitement like the character of a favorite movie? Life is happening here and now. The adventure is right in front of us, beckoning us to join. We must lose some of the excess weight called entertainment. We need to run toward the finish line and claim the grand Prize. In Christ alone, my glory shines.
It may feel like a huge sacrifice to give up large quantities of Hollywood entertainment. It may even hurt a bit. But the unfathomable freedom and refreshment is worth it. The pain is a beneficial pain, like exercise. We persevere if we want results. We make right choices daily. It isn’t just a spring cleaning of the soul and then we’re done for the next six months. We can’t just throw out all the bad CDs, movies, magazines, TV shows one day and expect to check off the list of good deeds for the year. It takes daily discipline to keep our minds pure and our hearts fresh. The thoughts and dreams of our hearts will surely come out in our actions and behaviors. Whether some are going cold turkey or giving up one thing at a time, or just thinking of giving up depraved music, it will be out of love for Christ that any of us follow through and take the steps toward freedom. We obey because we love Him. We make wise choices because we want to please Him. He is HOLY, and we are His children. We are to represent Him. The only way we can do that is by living in the aperture of His Spirit. There is a soft and gentle conscience to be gained here. When our conscience is sensitive and sweet, purity will enfold us. And purity in heart is the ultimate goal because, “Blessed are those who are pure in heart for they shall SEE God,” –Matt. 5:8. Ready to catch a glimpse of God?
Music activates multiple regions of the brain which is why it has such a global impact on us. Our emotions, memory, immune systems, stress responses are affected by music. Let us reclaim this powerful outlet for God’s glory. He made everything and saw that it was good. Music, love, and words were created for God’s glory. Next time I listen to my favorite playlist I will do so with the glory of God in mind and a heart willing to give up anything for Him.
“I don’t want to talk about You like You’re not in the room.
I want to look right at You. I want to sing right to You.
…Give me undistracted devotion for only You.”
–Misty Edwards, Dove’s Eyes