Now before we get further with this, I’m just going to say that this is something personal. This is not saying that secular music is good or bad, this is just a challenge that I personally chose to do in regards to my own spiritual life. Makes sense? Everyone has their temptation, this is mine.
If this blog is any indication, I love music. There’s something about hearing a new song that fills me with chills and just gives a whole new meaning to a day. I’m constantly playing music or something is in my head, and I always readily have my Shazam app open to find a new tune. Music can literally change my mood in an instant, whenever I felt sad, I knew what song to play to change that. It gave me energy and inspired me to act certain ways. Music is like water to me, I always have to have it.
When I became a Christian, my family and I started going to a traditional Hispanic church and it was great. They always talked about separating ourselves from all the secular things, so back then my middle school self complied, ripped everything out like a band-aid and didn’t realize the struggle it would be to make the split. Over the years it all started when a secular song would pop into my head and I would get the urge to listen to it. Plus, add the typical high school pressures and the constant stream of music playing, it started to creep on before I knew it.
Ironically, when I got to my Christian college and saw that a large amount of people listened to more secular music than Christian music, I thought it was all good, so I delved into it completely. Slowly but surely, more secular music filled my iTunes, while any worship songs I had started dwindling. See music in itself isn’t bad, what makes it a problem is when it starts taking you away from God. Your struggle may be anything, vanity, your vice, etc. and once it starts taking you away from God, you need to stop it.[Tweet “If something is taking you away from God, it’s time to cut it off.”]
By my last half of my junior year of college I had terrible anxiety, really crippling, which continued on to my senior year. School was obviously a big factor, but I was also not helping myself because I kept filling myself up with things that weren’t from God. I read verses and said my prayers but I knew I wasn’t as close to God as I should’ve been because 90% of the other time I wasn’t focusing on Him. Music became a distraction and II started to feel uncomfortable, especially when I heard/saw a music video for a band and it just contained really bad things, but the song was so dang catchy, but it lead me to the point that made me realize I was listening to things that had bad messages and made me stop getting filled of God and I needed to stop. If something is not helping you glorify God, why are you doing it?
I challenged myself to break up with secular music for a month and let me tell you, it felt like an eternity, but it was so worth it. After a few days of just listening to worship, my family started to receive terrible news and more terrible news started coming and it hit us in all different aspects of our lives. Usually, I would play the angriest song I could find and just be miserable, but I chose to listen to this song called, “Que Tu Gloria Llene Este Lugar.” It’s one of the slowest songs but I just felt lead to it. The problems were all there and the tears came, but listening to this made God feel close and His promises confirmed, and for once I wasn’t anxious for what was going to happen, which is a feeling I hadn’t felt in a while. This song hit me were I needed it and reaffirmed that only God is almighty and He can do it all. It gave me peace, a genuine peace I haven’t felt in the longest time. Listening to lyrics about Him, reminded me about who He is and were He has me going and it gave me hope.
Not going to lie, it’s been hard. Going to a store and having to stop myself singing along to a song, stopping myself from tuning into a different station. But it was worth it because I felt myself shifting my perspectives and turning to God much quicker than I would’ve before. The songs now stuck in my head were songs of hope that made life seem brighter because at any moment I can pray to God.
The whole point of challenging myself was to redirect myself back to God. Maybe you’re like me and secular music takes up more space on your phone than worship and without knowing it, it starts distracting you. I did this because I needed a shift, and maybe there’s something that’s distracting you, and whatever it may be, you should challenge yourself to take a break from it and see where God leads you. Your relationship with God should be above everything, so I’d rather take make change, even if it hurts, just so it can lead me back to Him.