What Your Music Says About You

All of us like to control the way in which we portray ourselves. That is why we go shopping for ourselves, dress ourselves, pick out our own vehicles and the like.   The old adage, “Clothes make the man,” is true in an outward sense.   A man’s clothing is a billboard, not into who he is, but who he wants you to think he is. Many a millionaire has hidden his wealth under the ragged garments of humility, while many an indebted man or woman covered up their poverty by clothing fit for a king.

In a very real sense, however, there are ways in which who we are and what we are is most-readily discerned by others. Clothing may tell a false tale concerning an individual but the matter of music provides a crystal-clear super-highway of knowledge into the soul of a man.

World over, music has an unparalleled appeal in every culture. There is no culture where a form of music is not found and in each particular culture a man’s fruit may be seen through the music which influences his soul.

Recently, I was in a doctor’s office, and while awaiting my appointment, I was being “serenaded” by rap music through the speaker system. Song after song espoused sensuality, disrespect of authority, indecency, and chaos. Truthfully, it made me think much less of the dentist’s office I had chosen for my examination and much more of what our music says about us as individuals.

Quickly, I suggest the following things that might be known about you based solely upon your music:

Your VALUES

In the 16th Century Andrew Fletcher expressed, “I said I knew a very wise man so much of Sir Christopher’s sentiment, that he believed if a man were permitted to make all the ballads he need not care who should make the laws of a nation, and we find that most of the ancient legislators thought that they could not well reform the manners of any city without the help of a lyric, and sometimes of a dramatic poet.”

Recently, my wife and I purchased a new van, and one of my wife’s requirements for our new vehicle was a media package. It had to have a TV to entertain the kids on longer trips! What has been fascinating to me is to listen to the language of the songs and the narrative of the movies they have historically been allowed to watch. Without the sense of SIGHT distracting me from the message of the music and language, I have been shocked as to what I have HEARD! I have commonly heralded, “Turn that off! That’s terrible! We don’t listen to that kind of junk!”

How calloused our values have become! The Bible says that Lot in “seeing and hearing” vexed his righteous soul from day to day. No doubt, the “media” of Sodom had a sedating effect on that righteous man.

If your “country” music (ignore that twang-y sound for a moment) espouses extramarital infidelity, drunkenness, immorality and the like, your real “values” are heard loud and clear.

If your soft-pop music preaches a gospel of self-love, illicit-love and love for the world, you have just expressed your values.

If your rap music beats upon the themes of male domination, police brutality, profanity and gross wickedness, you have no defense in the court of public testimony: your music already took the stand on your behalf.

Ignore the beat for a moment (which is another and necessary topic). Consider that the beauty of a song is irrelevant to its morality. What does it say? What is the message?

Millions of young girls sing gleefully,

The wind is howling
Like this swirling storm inside
Couldn’t keep it in
Heaven knows I’ve tried

Don’t let them in, don’t let them see
Be the good girl you always have to be
Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know
Well, now they know

Let it go, let it go
Can’t hold back anymore
Let it go, let it go
Turn away and slam the door
I don’t care what they’re going to say
Let the storm rage on
The cold never bothered me anyway.

It’s funny how some distance,
makes everything seem small,
and the fears that once controlled me,
can’t get to me at all.

It’s time to see what I can do.
To test the limits and break through.
No right, no wrong, no rules for me!
I’m free!

Let it go, let it go,
I’m one with the wind and sky!
Let it go, let it go,
you’ll never see me cry!
Here I stand and here I’ll stay!
Let the storm rage on!

My power flurries through the air into the ground!
My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around!
And one thought crystalizes like an icy blast!
I’m never going back,
the past is in the past.

Let it go, let it go,
And I’ll rise like the break of dawn!
Let it go, let it go,
That perfect girl is gone!
Here I stand in the light of day!
Let the storm rage on,
the cold never bothered me anyway.

Ignore the Disney-animated fairy world for a moment. Ignore the “beauty” of the melody. Ignore the over-all “moral” of the film (h.hmmmmm…excuse me while I parrot popular Christian thought). What does the song say? Can it biblically vindicate itself? No! Can it teach our daughters to be the virtuous of Proverbs 31? No way!  Many a Christian parent has wanted their child to learn the “moral” of the movie, but while the moral of the movie has faded in the glow of yesterday’s sun, the real moral of the song is still chiseling its ungodly commandments into the adolescent heart!

At the end of the day you are being programmed, lulled to sleep by the great culture-setters of our day…melodiously cradled to slumber by music that appeals to your flesh, wrapped in a facade that conceals the lyrics and impresses your soul!

Your VIEW OF GOD

Your music preaches to the world your view of God. Over and again in the Scriptures, “word” worship has been ascribed to God. From the sunny banks of Sweet Deliverance to the Crystal Sea in Heaven, God’s people sing a song unto the Lord!

Moses sang Scripture’s first song in Exodus chapter fifteen. Surrounded at the Red Sea by living Israelites and dead Egyptians, Moses praised the Lord for His salvation and deliverance of Israel. Moses in that day saw God high and lifted up!

David sang, too! That sweet Psalmist of Israel saw Jehovah in a way few had seen Him before, and none before had such a divine ability to describe in language what God meant to them. David’s Psalms remain to this day the world’s most eloquent poetry and the soul’s greatest haven of rest.

In Acts chapter sixteen Paul and Silas saw not the prison bars but the Exalted Christ as being worthy of praise and adoration. At midnight their soul sang with the strength of mid-day in light of a high and holy God.

When I was a teenager, many an acquaintance and many more a stranger took pride in the mantra, “No fear.” Today, I fear that the “no fear” of my generation has led to no fear of God in the eyes of today’s teen.

I’m troubled by Christian music, too. Songs are written to God but reveal a lack of reverence, veneration and awe of Him. By nature, much of today’s CCM is sensual, breathy, shallow and adolescent. It breathes into the ear of God as a lover would the object of his affection. Through the indefinite “Him, He, or You” it gives room for the music publisher to sell a song to either a religious singer singing to an Non-descript object in the sky or to a wedding singer who serenades bride or groom. Observe,

When I am down and, oh my soul, so weary;
When troubles come and my heart burdened be;
Then, I am still and wait here in the silence,
Until you come and sit awhile with me.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up… To more than I can be.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up… To more than I can be.

There is no life – no life without its hunger;
Each restless heart beats so imperfectly;
But when you come and I am filled with wonder,
Sometimes, I think I glimpse eternity.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up… To more than I can be.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up… To more than I can be.

You raise me up… To more than I can be..

We have all heard this song used in multitudinous ways.  I’ve heard of its use in churches. Few songs can be heard at the worship service at 7 pm and then on American Idol at 9! If the Lord be God, say so. Use definite words. Are you singing to the Lord Jesus Christ? Are you singing to your friend, your mate, your comrade?

Isaiah walked into the courts of the LORD and saw the thrice-holy God. He saw Him high and lifted up. He saw that His train filled the Temple. He saw, too, that he himself was unclean and that his nation had been defiled. He saw God!

Would to God that through our music we make a mark “heavy and dark” on this world concerning our view of God.   He is neither the man upstairs nor an ordinary potentate. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

He is known through His Word, the Bible, and took great care in Scripture concerning the revelation of Himself to mankind. Will we take the same care of His great name through our music?

My heart indeed aches when I think of the music of my flock. Do they indeed brag of music directly opposed to the Word of God? Do they espouse the music of today that sounds of the world, yet is packaged in “Christian” paper?

Their music needs to change, but first their view of God. When they see Him as He is, their music will change and yours as well.

If born again, would you stop now and ask the Holy Spirit if your music is a reflection of the Bible’s values and its view of God? Would you allow Him who is to draw you into all truth comprehensively evaluate what you see and hear? For to your children, your family, your friends and your unsaved acquaintances, you say more through your songs than you ever will by your speech.   In all of our ways, let’s be thoroughly Christian!

One thought on “What Your Music Says About You

  1. Thanks Pastor Cox for sending this. The music of today is terrible. Where I live now it is Rock and Roll on Saturdays and suppose to be Christian on Sunday afternoon, but that also has been turned into swinging and dancing. None of this for me. It is so worldly. MS Alice

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