Why listen to Christian music?

In this day and age, there are a LOT of musical options out there, vying for our attention every day. There are any number of different stations on “terrestrial” radio (the regular kind that folks of my generation grew up listening to, the kind you can dial in on your car radio), and of course there’s internet radio stations, and Pandora, and Spotify, and iHeartRadio, and shared iTunes playlists, not to mention a veritable smorgasbord of music to listen to on YouTube (while also feasting your eyes).  There’s an avalanche of music out there! So much music; so little time.

There are certain schools of thought that say if you’re a Christian, you shouldn’t be listening to “secular” music at all; that it taints your outlook and plants seeds of worldly thoughts in your subconscious. I can see where these well-meaning people are coming from, but I can’t wholeheartedly agree that a Christian should never listen to secular music.  I mean, the Bible tells us as believers to be “in the world, but not of it.”  How can we be in the world if we are totally ignorant of what that world is listening to? Music is such a huge part of people’s lives. How can we reach out to people and relate to them when they mention their favorite song, and we don’t even know what they’re talking about? I have a feeling if Jesus were alive today, he would not only know the current Hillsong United hit, he’d also know what songs were hot in the club scene.  He would shoot the breeze with people about their favorite music and use that connection to parlay the conversation into deeper waters, to explore their spiritual outlook. I mean, we’re talking about the same Jesus that was criticized for hanging out with prostitutes and sinners.

I can listen to secular music and hear in it the heart cries of people who are looking for something deeper.  Sometimes I stop and say a prayer for those singers, and for those listeners whose hearts are also crying out.

Yeah, personally I’m okay with listening to secular music.  Some of it is fun and cheerful and romantic.  Of course, some of it is really dark.  I don’t listen to that kind very long, because I can feel it dragging me down into the darkness as well. I’ll be quick to change the channel when that starts to happen.

But here’s my point:  I know a lot of Christians who listen to secular music, and that’s ALL they listen to.  They don’t listen to Christian music at all. And I think by doing that, they’re missing out.  Here are a few reasons I often listen to Christian music:

1.  It’s kid-friendly.
Back in my kid-less days, I didn’t care as much what I had playing in the car as I was driving around. This may sound weird, but sometimes even the worst secular music tended to focus my thoughts on how desperately people need the Lord. But now, as a mom to a 5-year-old, I know that little pitchers have big ears! Kids hear EVERYTHING and they are soaking it in (and later, spitting it out).  The other day we were listening to a Christian radio station in the car, and when we stopped to get out, my son Jonathan said, “Mommy, what is mercy?”  We had just heard Laura Story’s brilliantly crafted song, “Blessings,” which mentions God’s mercies. (If you don’t know that song, do yourself a favor and go check it out.)  But that led to a wonderful teaching moment with my son.  And it also led me to breathe a prayer of thanks that we were listening to something life-giving, instead of music that might have prompted him to ask me what a certain four-letter word he’d heard meant.

2.  In a too-busy life, sometimes it serves as my daily worship time.
While I’d like to tell you that I start every day with prayer and meditation, let’s be honest:  sometimes that “prayer and meditation” equals a hasty “Good morning God!” as I roll out of bed, and a verse read on my phone’s Bible app as I scarf down a bowl of cereal. But when I put Christian music on as I drive or work, and one of my favorite worship songs comes on, any mundane moment can become a moment of worship.  I love that.

3.  It brings scriptures to mind.
I love that a lot of Christian songs have snatches of Bible verses woven through them. I believe the word of God is a powerful thing, and often even just hearing some familiar phrases brings to mind the passages they came from – and often JUST when I need to hear them.  It’s kind of a way to keep the lines of communication open, letting God interject some thoughts into my day.

What about you?
What about you? Do you listen to Christian music? What percentage would you say you listen to of Christian music versus secular music?  And what are your top reasons for listening to Christian music?

By the way, if you like Christian music, or if you’re just curious and haven’t ever really given it a try, I’m a Christian musician myself, and you can get three of my songs for free. Just go to www.bethchampionmasonmusic.com and enter your email address. (Or just enter it in the box above.) It’s easy and quick. And it might just be the pick-me-up you need right this minute.

Thanks for taking the time to read. What are your thoughts on the subject?  Let me know in the comments below.

Till next time, grace and peace to you.
Beth

6 comments

  • Dean Collocott

    Dean Collocott Margate KZN South Africa

    Hi there i wanna thank you for posting this on the internet as it has been something bothering me for a while now... Lately i have been chopping and changing from worship to secular music trying to decide what is best for me. I had a feeling that God seemed more distant to me when listening to secular music and it put negative thoughts in my head about partying and what not. I love the part you said about worship during your busy day its so true!! I am not one to be able to live a balanced lifestyle between God and the world and i find that when i only have worship music playing i begin to feel better which leads to positive actions and glorifying God! This is why i will only listen to worship and nothing else,cause for me personally it bringaabout a holy living lifestle

    Hi there i wanna thank you for posting this on the internet as it has been something bothering me for a while now...
    Lately i have been chopping and changing from worship to secular music trying to decide what is best for me.
    I had a feeling that God seemed more distant to me when listening to secular music and it put negative thoughts in my head about partying and what not.
    I love the part you said about worship during your busy day its so true!! I am not one to be able to live a balanced lifestyle between God and the world and i find that when i only have worship music playing i begin to feel better which leads to positive actions and glorifying God! This is why i will only listen to worship and nothing else,cause for me personally it bringaabout a holy living lifestle

  • Beth Champion Mason

    Beth Champion Mason

    Thanks for your comment Dean! I think anything that keeps our hearts and minds focused on God is a good thing -- especially in a day and age where it seems like everything is trying to pull our focus away. :) Grace & peace to you, and keep walking the walk my friend.

    Thanks for your comment Dean! I think anything that keeps our hearts and minds focused on God is a good thing -- especially in a day and age where it seems like everything is trying to pull our focus away. smile

    Grace & peace to you, and keep walking the walk my friend.

  • Aaron

    Aaron Cambridge

    I've just come across this and I feel the need to post a comment. I am in no way religious whatsoever but I do really enjoy listening to Christian Music like Chris Tomlin, Shane & Shane etc. For me as a musician and teacher of music there is something about Christian Music that resonates with my general feelings and attitude towards life. Christian Music has so much emotion and feeling in it that it conjures feelings of appreciation of the World and life, despite it being on the topic of something I do not necessarily believe in, I still find it very warming and lovely to listen to. Can anyone relate?

    I've just come across this and I feel the need to post a comment.

    I am in no way religious whatsoever but I do really enjoy listening to Christian Music like Chris Tomlin, Shane & Shane etc.

    For me as a musician and teacher of music there is something about Christian Music that resonates with my general feelings and attitude towards life. Christian Music has so much emotion and feeling in it that it conjures feelings of appreciation of the World and life, despite it being on the topic of something I do not necessarily believe in, I still find it very warming and lovely to listen to. Can anyone relate?

  • Beth Champion Mason

    Beth Champion Mason

    Thanks for your comment Aaron! I love what you say about it feeling warming and lovely to listen to. And though you mention that you are in no way religious, I would just hint that maybe that warming, lovely feeling is God whispering to your heart. God loves you so much! Even if you don't believe in Him, He believes in you, and He's always trying to communicate with you. My prayer today is that you would sense Him in other ways as He's moving in your life, and that you would be open to Him. I believe that anyone who really wants to know whether God exists need only ask Him to reveal Himself. He will! Have a great week!

    Thanks for your comment Aaron! I love what you say about it feeling warming and lovely to listen to. And though you mention that you are in no way religious, I would just hint that maybe that warming, lovely feeling is God whispering to your heart. God loves you so much! Even if you don't believe in Him, He believes in you, and He's always trying to communicate with you.

    My prayer today is that you would sense Him in other ways as He's moving in your life, and that you would be open to Him. I believe that anyone who really wants to know whether God exists need only ask Him to reveal Himself. He will!

    Have a great week!

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