"What's Wrong With My Music?"

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By: Katie Rath

Psalm 149:3, “Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with the tambourine and harp.” (NIV)


Almost everyone loves music. Music can be very soothing and relaxing after a stressful day. It can get you pumped up for the big game. It can help you work your mind around a problem or refocus your attention. Music is a universal communicator: it speaks to all people on a variety of levels for many reasons.

God was a big fan of music. He loved when King David praised Him in the Psalms. Though the Psalms are written as text in our Bibles, many were written to be sung out loud. The use of musical instruments and singing are described throughout Scripture. The authors of the Bible encourage the reader to “sing with joy” or “praise Him with the strings and flute” or even “praise Him with dancing.”

Music may essentially be a good thing, but is all music glorifying to God? Sadly, the answer is no.

My mother used to refuse to listen to anything else in the car except for our local Christian radio station. I wanted to listen to the popular music my friends liked, but she often said no. I didn’t understand that while I was a kid, but she used to tell me that the music I listened to affected me. If I listened to bad music, those lyrics and ideas would get stuck in my head.

I ignored my mother for a long time until I went to a youth conference one summer. A speaker at that conference discussed the “trash in, trash out” theory. If you listen to music that has hateful attitudes, curse words or raunchy lyrics, you’re more likely to mirror those attitudes, say those words, and remember those lyrics. He played many music examples for us, and all of a sudden the audience understood -- much of the popular music we listen to doesn’t please God.

God is praised when our music is righteous and pure. That doesn’t mean every line has to say “God, you’re so good” or “Praise Jesus.” Almost half of the Psalms are David complaining to God or explaining his fear and negative attitudes. God created everything on this planet to praise Him, including our music. God also commanded everything to be pure, and our music isn’t exempt from that either.

My Prayer for Today:

Heavenly Father, I ask today that You fill our hearts with the joy that You give us. I pray that You give us every reason to praise You and seek Your face. Help us decide which of our music is good to listen to. If it isn’t pure, I pray that You help us get rid of it. Father, I know it will be hard, and our friends might not understand, but help us to make the right choices to glorify You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Related Resources:

Being a Girl Who Leads: Becoming a Leader by Following Christ, by Shannon Kubiak Primicerio

Teen People of the Bible, by Daniel Darling

Think About It:

Does all my music glorify God?

If Jesus were listening to all of my music, which songs would I be embarrassed for Him to know that I listen to?

If I’m in a situation where my friends are listening to bad music, how can I ask them to turn it off?

Live It:

You knew you were going to have to do it. It’s time to throw away some music. The first ones to go are the songs that curse, the ones that talk about shooting people, sexual perversion and hating your enemies. If you love the type of music but the lyrics are bad, search for cleaner artists that have the same music. Search around on the internet for music databases that suggest Christian artists that sound like your favorite mainstream artists. http://www.christianmusic.about.com/ is a good place to start.

Power Verses:

James 3:9-10, “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.” (NIV)

Psalm 19:14, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” (NIV)

Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -- think about such things.” (NIV)

© 2009 by Katie Rath. All rights reserved.

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