Picky About Music

From the outset let me make two things clear: I have not always chosen music wisely, and I realize not everyone needs to adopt my philosophy of musical selection.
My love for music began at an early age. In middle school and high school it was amplified, not only through becoming a musician, but by being surrounded by people who love music the way I do.
My friend and I didn’t listen to the typical music played by stations like K-Love or The House FM. We listened to rock, hard rock, punk rock, rap rock, ska, rap, hip-hop, etc. that was all written by artists labeled as Christian. As I got to high school, my musical horizons expanded, and I was influenced to listen to music outside of the genre “Christian.”
Let me pause and say, when we label an artist “Christian” what we are saying is their lyrics reflect (sometimes loosely) Christian ideas and principles. Music itself (lyrics aside) is neither moral nor immoral but amoral. Music stirs emotions and it affects us in ways few things do, but morality is completely absent from it.
When it came to me listening to “mainstream” or “secular” music, I pushed the boundaries on what I should listen to because I would say “I just like the beat, I don’t pay attention to the lyrics.” I would say “nothing in the Bible says I must listen to ‘Christian’ music.”
In the past few years I’ve become pickier about the music I listen to. I sift the music I listen to through two filters. First, it has to pass through the filter of moral lyrics. Is there anything about it that communicates something unbiblical, immoral, or ungodly? Second, I ask, “Does this stir my affections for God through Christ Jesus?” In the second case some music that’s labeled “Christian” still doesn’t meet the standard.
Why do I do this? I want to dwell on things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy of praise (Phillipians 4:8). I’ve also come to understand that what put into my mind eventually comes out (Proverbs 4:23), even when I least expect it. I want my mind to be transformed away from worldly thinking (Romans 12:2).
Do the lyrics of the music you listen to affect you negatively? Do they stir your affections for Jesus?


To God’s Glory,
James