Is the music I listen to drawing me closer to Christ or pushing me further away?

Music has the incredible ability to encourage us, inspire us and to assist us in worshipping God. Our Christian faith is a musical, singing faith. We have an incredible past and present repertoire of godly music across many music types throughout many nations.

But like all good things, there is also a worldly counterfeit that seeks to change God’s design. And we would do well to look at our lives to see what we listen to.

Have a look at your playlist—at the top 25 most-played songs in particular. Can you defend that list? Could you recommend your playlist as the best choice in music for you to grow in your walk with Christ?

One of the mistakes we make as Christians is that we presume to know what affects us, and how much it affects us by. Music is an area of life where simple mistakes can be costly to us and those around us. Wrong music not only robs us of a chance to grow closer to Christ, but it can also subtly place wrong thoughts in our hearts and minds. “A little leaven leavens the whole lump.” (Galatians 6:9)

My favourite music is Handel’s Messiah. While it’s normally played most often at Christmas, I listen to it year round. The combination of brilliant music and scripture makes for one of the greatest musical arrangements I have ever heard.

George Frideric Handel wrote the Messiah in only 24 days. The text written by Charles Jennings is comprised of 81 Bible verses from 14 different books of the Bible. Passages include: And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed. For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given. His yoke is easy and his burden is light ( for My yoke is easy and my burden is light). King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Worthy is the Lamb. Amen. 

Music can be a difficult subject to debate. Christian music only? Christian and some clean secular? How much secular and what kind?

These and other questions are worth pursuing. As a dear friend of mine says: “The things that draw you closer to Christ—do more of those. The things that take you away from Christ—do less of those.”

Worship in music can be a great experience for God to reveal Himself. Sometimes the unexpected happens. I remember exactly where I was and what it felt like to be in a praise in worship service when God suddenly laid it on my heart to write a book. I wonder if I would have missed out on that had I not been there.

If it’s not drawing you closer to Christ, it’s pulling you away. And we need to challenge ourselves to consider that drawing closer to Christ starts with what we let enter our mind. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, 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.” (Philippians 4:8)

PAUL BOGE is the author of Father to the Fatherless: The Charles Mulli Story and five other books. He is single and works as an engineer in Winnipeg.


THE ARTICLE ABOVE WAS FEATURED IN THE MAY 2017 ISSUE OF SEVEN MAGAZINE. 

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