Music and Your Spiritual Growth
…and do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
— Ephesians 5:18-20
In Paul’s letter to the Ephesian church, he gives direction to them to concerning the controlling forces in their life. Paul commands them not be under the controlling force of wine, then gives them direction to be under the control of the Holy Spirit.
It’s easy for us each day to consider the ‘major’ controlling forces like drugs and alcohol in our life, but do we stop to consider the media we consume every day? How about the YouTube videos, the news blurbs, those social media posts, or the lyrics in the songs we listen to and sing along with? These are subtle influences in our lives every day that are easy to write off as “not having an effect on us”.
However, we should challenge that assumption that for a moment. Earlier in Paul’s letter, he tells his audience to put off the things of the flesh from our former life, renew our minds with God’s truth, and put on the things of the Spirit in who we are now. So, how are we regularly and intensely renewing our minds? Do the media types above help us to accomplish a renewed mind?
Now, you have to understand that I love music. I listen to large amounts of music…mostly Christian. Why? Because I want to constantly subject my mind with God’s truth to aid in the process of renewing my mind. I want my mind constantly redirected back to the source of hope and truth in this world, Jesus. Some of my favorite artists are extremely skilled in creating melodic lines that emphasize the truth of Scripture in a way that makes them new again, and encourages me to respond with awe, wonder, and worship in an infinite creator God who has redeemed a rebellious and spiteful child.
Whether you ‘like’ Christian music or not, I challenge you to seek out artists like Shane & Shane, Elias Dummer, Meredith Andrews, and Citizens. Listen for the rich truth of Scripture that works to renew our minds causing more Christ-likeness in us. Let’s redeem media for the purpose of mind-renewal in the Spirit for Christ.