Growing up in a family of musicians, I have always been a music nerd. But as I immerse myself in music, not all of it is entirely godly. Some of these songs feature explicit lyrics, or cover dark themes. As a result, I once decided to challenge myself to only listen to Christian music and no secular songs for two months. I did this because I wanted to centre myself in godliness and honour God with the songs I consume.
The first few weeks of the challenge started out great. I was so inspired by God and His word that I wrote two songs in a span of two weeks! However, something happened in school that made me feel discouraged and hopeless. To get through that difficult time, I used Christian music to make me feel better.
Weirdly, as much as the songs I listened to encouraged and assured me that God is with me, I felt far from God. It was ironic that the more I tried to fill my mind with godly songs to hear God’s words and truth, the less I could hear Him speaking into my life.
The challenge backfired because I realised that each time I went through difficulty, I turned to music instead of turning to the One who holds all things together (Col 1:17). Instead of taking my worries to God, I depended on the song lyrics and ‘feels’ of the song to lift my spirit. It took a while for me to realise that Christian music had started to become an idol in my life.
Christian and worship music can build faith, and is a way to praise and glorify God. But I learned that it can’t be my go-to in times of need.
To overcome this, I simply tried to lessen my music intake. I swapped my usual evening runs with music to evening prayer walks in the park without music. While on public transport, I spent time talking to God instead of being distracted by music. Finally, once again, I knew God was lifting my troubles off my shoulders each time I surrendered them to Him in prayer. I used to think of music as my transportation and workout companion, but the real fact is that I was never alone. God watches over me every day.
To all reading this, I thank God that Christian music has helped many of us to shift our focus to God and speak the word of God into our hearts. But let us not forget that He alone is the One we should run to for our every need!