Disclaimer: This blog entry is a personal reflection on something I have recently felt convicted of in my own life. It is not meant to say that everyone should make the same decision as me, simply that I have felt God personally leading me a certain way in my life and decided to follow Him based on what I believe is right for my own life.
For the past few days I have been thinking about the concept of purity in my life. I think growing up I thought that purity was just about sex and now that I’m married “been there done that”, it can get crossed off my list. Well, I’ve come to the conclusion that that is wrong. I heard a sermon on Sunday and well I wish I could say I was so engrossed by the content of it that it was life changing (well maybe it was), I was very distracted throughout most of it and there is only one part I remember. It was about purity and the verse from Matthew 5:8, “God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.” I have been thinking about this verse a lot this week and what it means to have a pure heart.
The other day while I was driving home from work a song came on my iPod. It was a song I’ve probably heard hundreds of times but had never really thought about the words. Hint: they were not appropriate. For the most part I am pretty good when it comes to having “clean” music to listen to. Years ago I went through freedom session and deleted all of my music with swearing, etc., but I would still say that about 20% of the songs I have are questionable when it comes to lyrics. I listened to about 30 seconds of this particular song, let the words sink into my brain and instantly felt disgusted and changed it. The thought: “Why am I listening to this?” came into my mind. Then my brain really got reeling. A large number of the songs that are hits in our society are not songs that promote the kind of lifestyle I live, so why do I listen to them? I think pornography is sick, so why do I have a song on my playlist that compares women to being just an image of that. I DON’T KNOW. The only reason I could come up with was: “It’s just on my gym playlist. It has a good beat.” Stupid excuse. I wanted to ram my head through the car window for that one. Can I only workout to songs about sexual promiscuity? Are they the only songs that have a good beat? Honestly, sometimes it feels that way, but is it worth it?
These songs I listen to, that I sing to – what does that say about me? I started thinking about a verse, James 3:6, “And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.” I know what you’re thinking. This verse is about speech. BUT, if I’m sitting in my car singing these lyrics that I don’t agree with at all and they are coming out of my mouth, what does that say about me? After much debate, contemplation and prayer, I came to the conclusion that it is indeed corrupting my mind. Whether or not I “listen to the words” or a song has a “good beat” I still hear them, I still verbalize them and at the end of the day – I am not okay with singing words to something that I don’t agree with. This was a painful conclusion for me to come to because A) I really didn’t want to delete 100 songs off my iPod and B) I would have to find a new gym playlist (I’m kidding – but it was hard!). At the end of the day I realized that I need to guard myself and guard my mind – even song lyrics can be tempting, whether we realize it or not. If I want God to create in me a pure heart then I need to be willing to make sacrifices in my own life.
I should note that in writing this I am not saying that secular music is bad. I love secular music and much of it that I have is perfectly appropriate. I’m just saying that in the future I am going to be more careful with the kind of music I allow myself and my family to be exposed to. This was something I really felt God was saying I wasn’t honouring him with and it is important to me that I try to do that to the best of my capabilities. Colossians 3:16-16 says: “Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.” I pray each day that the actions I live out reflect God’s Word and that by abandoning the ways of the world, I may have a heart that shows His love to others.