This is a continuation of my last post, so I recommend reading that first so you can understand this post better. I previously explained the ‘Why?’, now I’m going to elucidate the ‘How?’ and hopefully be as practical as possible with this.
I encourage you to read this with an open mind, and know that I’m a human as you are, so this is not a one-way formula for all of mankind. These are lessons learned from my experience that I’m sharing in the hope that others may be encouraged.
Since making the decision to guard my heart and be watchful of what I listen to, and by God’s grace, sticking to it, I have had to learn and unlearn certain habits, and I know that I’m still going to learn and unlearn ad life goes on, because this never really ends.
I knew that certain music in my life would have to go since last year. Actually it’s been before that, way before that. I knew that something was wrong since secondary school. But did I really want to make the change back then? Not really. I did not want to do it because I did not really think it was worth it, I didn’t understand the importance of what one listened to. I used to rationalize what I listened to with “well it doesn’t really affect me like that” or “it’s just the beat” or “this girl/that guy does what I do too and they’re fine so I’ll be fine”.
I also didn’t think I could do it. Let me backtrack a little here: I was raised to be a christian at home, I was in a christian secondary school and I was getting more interested in having a personal relationship with God. I then figured out that some of the songs I listened to and liked were talking about things that were at odds with my faith. A lot of them were either overtly sexual, had sexual undertones, degraded women, contained swear words, or just had depressing lyrics. But somehow I also kept thinking what my life would be like without listening to them. I know, at this point you’re thinking, “she said those songs contained bad things, and she knew that it was not good for her, so why didn’t she just stop”? It sounds so easy, but the walk towards postive change is harder than it looks. Have you ever noticed that it seems ‘easier’ and ‘more fun’ to do bad than do good? It’s because we live in a fallem world, where evil is the norm and doing what is Godly makes one an outsider. We are in a war everyday, not a physical one, but a spiritual one, the forces of good against the forces of evil. Each of these kingdoms want to increase in magnitude, hence the devil makes it incredibly hard to get free from harmful habits. Don’t be scared though, that is why Christ died, in Him we are more than conquerors.
If you are serious about changing what you listen to, please know that it is not a one-day process. It goes beyond deleting songs off your phone, it requires a mind renewal, it requires a personal understanding and conviction of why you’re doing this. Your apetite needs to change, because you can only desire what you like. You’re going to have to unlearn things that have been your lifestyle for a good number of years, so a sustainable change will not come in a day. This process takes time, so after asking God for help, allow the Holy Spirit time to change you from the inside. By prayer, studying the Word, being in the fellowship of believers, your outlook on life will change. Yes, it’s cliché, I know, but it is the simple truth. It works.
A majore lesson for me, which took me time to learn, was that praying about it once wasn’t enough. The Bible says that God’s faithfulness is new every morning, a part of the Lord’s prayer says “give us this day our daily bread”. So you have to ask daily for grace to continue in your decision. It’s really tough to come out of an issue that you’ve been struggling with, but the good news is that God is a good good father (not a typo), and His grace is already available for you. Just ask for it.
Please do not go to the places that trigger the desire to listen to the kind of music that you’re trying to cut off. You know, those videos you may watch, or maybe people you may hang around that are saturated with these songs. We are spiritual beings, but we live in the flesh, and the desires of the flesh and the Spirit are opposing. This is especially if you’re at the initial stages of this change. It’s so easy to go back at this point if you expose your mind to the same things that you used to do. Even for those who have been at it for years, there is no day off. A moment of weakness, an hour when you let your guard down, is all the devil needs.
Now, as for what you should listen to? Well I’m not going to attach a list of artistes with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ beside their names. However I can tell you this. If:
- after listening to the song you feel guilty praying or doing bible study,
- the lyrics of the song are not in agreement with the Word of God,
- you were evangelising to someone and that song started playing you’d feel embarrased,
then it can be safe to say that you probably should not be listening to that track.
I am of the opinion that as different as we are, so are our tastes in music. So after deleting all those songs? What next? Go on the search for good and edifying music. You don’t have to like a song because everyone else is liking it. If you are more of a lover of upbeat songs, don’t force yourself to like country music. There are many songs out there in every genre that have positive messages, just go out and find them. If you have any form of music app, you can search for christian playlists, thank God for people who have taken their time to compile those songs. If not, Google is your friend. You know how I mentioned ‘fellowship of believers’ earlier? This can help too. There are some of us who have walked this path before and know so many good songs to listen to, so you can ask for advice as well. You’re not alone in this.
At the core of it all, we cannot please God by ourselves. He is the one who helps us please Him. Know this, and believe this, because you cannot do it all by your strength. I believe that if and when you truly surrender, God can make something beautiful and truly transform your life.
Thank you for reading.
If you have any questions or concerns you can write them in the comments or send me an email if it’s personal for you.