This past Sunday (1/19) we looked at the Top Music Hits from 2013. We kicked things off by listening to the musical intros of every song that hit #1 on the charts (roughly 7-10 seconds) with a brief description of how long it held the spot with no mention of the messages contained in each song. Eventually we looked at three songs and talked about some of its messages, but before we did that I thought it was important to lay out a proper foundation. I did this by saying “We need to realize three things“…
- Music is Powerful – Music played a vital role in the pages of Scripture and still does today. Music expresses emotions like thanksgiving, sorrow, and mourning in a very unique way that touches the heart.
- Every message we take in impacts us in some way whether we fully realize it or not – Too often we think we are not affected by the images, and language we allow in our minds and hearts. The reality is that the negative messages are really like tiny germs. Eventually these germs will make us “sick spiritually” if we keep letting them in and don’t fight against it.
- Followers of Jesus are called to a higher standard – To a level of holiness (1 Pt. 1:16), which means set apart and different. I believe this applies to the music we consume. There has to be a difference in some way to the music we take in and what others take in. But where is that line?
At this point we look at three of the songs that hit #1 in 2013…
- Locked out of Heaven (Bruno Mars) – after looking at some of the lyrics we could see that this is a song about lovers who are not married. It also talks about how sex is a paradise and is all about pleasure. Too bad it didn’t also talk about all the pain and heartache people encounter when sex is taken out of God’s plan for peoples’ lives.
- Blurred Lines (Robin Thicke) – unfortunately I didn’t feel comfortable showing any of the lyrics from this song because of how explicit it was. I simply said that this is a song that objectifies women, refers to them with negative words, and simply sees them as sex toys. It’s also unfortunate that this song held onto the #1 spot longer than any other song.
- Roar (Katy Perry) – after looking at some of the lyrics we could see that this is a song about overcoming heartache and setbacks in life. It has some very positive messages, which actually can become much greater if we align our faith with it. With God all things are possible. We are never alone. We have a God who loves us and want to help us fight through the difficulties we experience in this life.
Finally I started to wrap up the message with the following points…
My Goal is NOT to make a list of appropriate songs or inappropriate songs…
My Goal is to encourage you to REALLY THINK about the music you are taking in and see if it’s appropriate or not…
I think we have a few problems in the church:
- We are not doing a good job thinking about or testing the images we let into our lives (1 Thess. 5:21-22)
- We might be more like the world than we want to admit (Romans 12:2 in the Message)
Three Questions to Ask Yourself:
- Am I being entertained by sin?
- Is this pleasing to God?
- Does this pull me away from God?
I concluded the message with a final verse from Psalm 19:4 – May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
Parents, please pay attention to the music your kids are listening to. Talk to them about it. Ask them what the song means and don’t just let a song slip in because it’s popular or because it has a cool beat or catchy lyrics. Everything we allow into our minds (music, movies, tv shows, other kinds of entertainment, and so on…) impacts how we grow, or don’t grow spiritually.