Good music would definitely make the cut for top five on my list of 10 favourite things. Music is such an integral part of me that I could tie certain songs to the memories attached to a particular phase of my life. Some time back, I listened to Chris Tomlin’s Good, good father, and I couldn’t help but remember the period between writing my final exams in undergrad and getting my first job. Oh well, that could be because it was my fave song at the moment and stayed on repeat till it wore me out.
Recently, I’ve been considering the factors that influence the kind of music I listen to. I’m really not stuck on any particular genre like jazz or pop or whatever; so I can’t pin it down to that. Besides, I think that my music preferences have evolved over time. Some new genre or songs have found their way into my playlist, while others have gone out.
This question of what to listen to is especially important to me for one reason. As a believer, I understand the implications of letting the wrong stuff into my mind. Remember how Paul admonishes the Romans to work at renewing their minds? And somewhere in Psalms or Proverbs, the scriptures say “Guard your heart with all diligence…” Yes, we can become what we listen (and dance) to! Little wonder, some folks choose classical music when they’re upset or need to relax.
Last week, I asked a couple of friends about their musical preferences and I got some really interesting feedback. I could easily put their responses into three categories:
The first group listened to strictly faith-based music; they were of the opinion that if a song wasn’t glorifying God or couldn’t be sung during a worship service, they had no business listening to it.
The second group preferred a mix of both secular and faith-based, but had to caveat this opinion with “it must edify and shouldn’t stir up negative thoughts and emotions”.
The last group just listened to whatever felt good to hear at the moment. They argued that there was no serious side to music, and it was simply to be enjoyed.
Within the first and second category, there was also the argument of what actually constituted faith-based music; the artiste, the lyrics or the rhythm? In many cases, one or two of these elements do not fit into the mold of what majority term as “godly”. Which do you think would glorify God more? A faith-based song performed by a secular artiste, or a song with non-traditional rhythms like hip-hop and rap?
We’re kind of back to where we first started, and I feel what most people want (including me!) is a laid-down template (from God) which stipulates what is permitted or not. But it would be nearly impossible to get that one-size-fits-all kind of answer, because we humans have different inclinations and perceptions of what is right. So, I’d rather want to ask “Is this song helpful to me? Does it raise the wrong emotions or desires?”, than bother with the rating of that song on someone else’s “christian” scale.
Let’s think of it this way: if we can watch movies directed by non-Christians and use technology developed by same, is it also possible that we enjoy music by secular artistes as well? There are a lot of songs that are not necessarily faith-based but are still positive and fun to listen to; take classical or country music for instance.
I hope I’m not raising more questions than supplying answers (laughs). But it’s okay, for the problem may be that we need to get the question right first. Meanwhile, would you like to have a peek into what’s currently on repeat on my playlist? And this is by no means a template, because hey, a girl is still figuring out things for herself. Here we go…
Adekunle Gold’s Sade: First time I heard this song, I knew I was going to be stuck on it for a looong time. And that has turned out to be quite true. The rich combination of Yoruba, pidgin, and an infusion of afrobeat sound makes this song an everyday delight.
Hillsong’s What a beautiful name it is: Grammy-winning song, and well-deserved too. The atmosphere in which Hillsong delivers this song makes me appreciate the beauty of the Lord even more.
Ed Sheeran’s Perfect: Because I love love (bawls). Second, the lyrics are everything, and I find myself nodding to most of the lines.
Fast forward to a few years from now, I guess these are the songs that will make me remember my early blogging days and the comments you’d leave on this post as well.
I’m curious about which of the three categories you belong to. Can you guess mine from my playlist? Share what’s currently on your playlist too, so I could pick a song or two.
P.S. Just checked the proper quotation of “Guard your heart…”. It’s found in Proverbs 4:23. My bible skills need some dusting, haha.