Written By Larry Shaw
Here is a paraphrase of Philippians 4:8 which is the verse I was considering from Monday:
We’re to think on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, & of good reputation. Things that are various & praise worthy.
Last week, I gave you a bit of my own personal journey in discerning what music God wanted me to listen to. This week I would like to challenge us to consider what God may be saying to us through the verse I have been pondering.
First, I would like to mention that since the early days of my journey in following Christ, I have integrated literally hundreds of artists into my musical library. Musical styles have come & gone, but my goal has continued to be to fill my mind with lyrics that honor God. Most of my selections have been “Christian” though not in every case. I happen to like Christmas music, both sacred & secular, & have a variety of artists represented in my collection.
In looking back at Phil. 4:8, I am reminded of the first blog that Ryan wrote which was also on the subject of lyrics. He said that as he began listening to more praise & worship music, his walk in Christ was considerably enhanced. That should be such an important component of this discussion, because we should consistently be drawing closer to our Lord Jesus & we should be careful to avoid anything that could be a detriment to that purpose.
Does Phil. 4:8 say that all the things we think about or lyrics we listen to should be specifically about Jesus? No, it doesn’t, but the verse should make us seriously consider whether what we listen to fits into the admonition of the verse.
Perhaps I should help us consider the potential correlation between what we “think” about & the lyrics that are in our musical choices. Ryan made this correlation in his first blog as well. He mentioned that it is tempting to think that we are only listening to the music for the sake of the beat, or I might add, for the sake of the music itself. Ryan also admits that it’s tempting to “think” that we aren’t really” listening” to the words. He admitted to telling himself that for quite a while, but now sees that although we may not ’think” we are listening to the words, they are getting into our minds. We’re ’thinking” about those words whether we want to or not.
Romans 12:1& 2 give us insight into what we ought to be doing. Here is what the Apostle Paul challenges us to do in those verses;
“I beseech you therefore, brothers & sisters in Christ, that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your MIND, that you may prove what is that good, & acceptable, & perfect, will of God.” (emphasis on mind is my idea.)
I think we should try to grasp that the lyrics we are listening to are becoming part of who we are, which then can become what we say & do, Garbage in, garbage out? I think so, & so did Ryan in his blog. If we didn’t hear the Lord’s name taken in vain, do you think we would use the name of our Lord in vain in our speech? If we didn’t expose ourselves to words that are often described as vulgar, would we think them or put them in our speech? I think the answer is no in both examples. Rom. 12:1& 2 admonish us to be nothing like the world & that we should be renewing our minds. This can only be done by the study of God’s word & surrounding ourselves with things that edify us.
Of course, in this culture, we can’t completely avoid things that bring us down, but for me, that’s all the more reason to eliminate them when we have the choice.
So this week we have looked at lyrics themselves & seen how they can pull us away from God’s intention to conform us into the image of His Son. On Friday, I will continue this discussion adding to it a discussion of the themes contained in the lyrics of music.
Larry Shaw. ’98.6 Too Cold’ Blogger