Creating A Positive Mindset – What Type of Music Changed My LifeJump To Recipe
Growing Up Around Music
I grew up in an old fashioned Baptist church where we sang out of a hymn book every Sunday. I learned prolific hymns such as How Great Thou Art, Amazing Grace, The Old Rugged Cross, Great is Thy Faithfulness, It is Well with My Soul, and so on. (There are so many goodies out there!).
That being said, I really didn’t ever listen to “contemporary Christian music”. Growing up in the 90s-early 2000s, in our home we didn’t listen to music that wasn’t traditional gospel music. Thinking back to the reason why, it’s not because my parents banned music from our home, its just that we simply appreciated classical music, gospel music, oldies, that kind of thing.
Also, I was at an age where I didn’t sit still to listen to music-I was either playing outside or making some craft project. I did listen to Patch the Pirate in car rides or at night to help me go to sleep. I had a yellow cassette tape player that my mom and dad bought me. By the way-years of Patch the Pirate still impacts my life with their messages today. When B and I have kids one day, I definitely would like them to listen to those stories. Great for the imagination and implements biblical principles to carry throughout life.
In 7th grade (2004-2005), I remember in one of my classes had an ice breaker game. One of the questions I got was “Who is your favorite musical artist or band?” At the time I didn’t have one! This was before YouTube really was a thing since it was created in early 2005. Again, I was very much an outdoorsy girl and loved being occupied with arts/crafts (the beginnings of my love for all things DIY).
It wasn’t until around 8th grade-high school that I became aware of music via Disney Channel stars’ music videos, YouTube, high school dances, burned music on CDs from my friend Jael and music playing in the mall. I started to listen to pop music such as Rhianna, Usher, Chris Brown, Beyonce, Jason Mraz, Colbie Caillat, Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts, Katie Perry, etc. **Side note-I loved Michael Buble waaaay before he really became popular in 2010 with “Just Haven’t Met You Yet” and I loved Josh Groban (will forever be a Grobanite LOL).**
Once I got my driver’s license at 18, I loved cranking up the radio and jamming to the current pop music when driving. When studying, cleaning or just hanging around in my room, I’d play pop music. I especially craved love songs (when you think of it most songs are about love/relationships) because I longingly wanted to be in a relationship. I remember my mom advised me that listening to love songs will only feed my thoughts in obsessing over being in a relationship.
During high school through my early college years, I rarely listened to Christian music in my downtime. Jael had told me about K-Love before but I never really gave it a chance. She reminded me years later that I had told her once that I didn’t want to listen to Christian music “with a beat”-meaning that Christian music should only be in hymn form. That’s why you should have friends that are honest with you and keep you humble! I realized I had a double standard where I didn’t want to listen to “contemporary Christian music” because it resembled pop/rock music, but I was fine with listening to non-Christian artists.
One time after track practice in college, I remember feeling down about something, and I happened to flip the radio station to Air-1 and they had a message that really encouraged me. It’s as if God was speaking directly to me. I set Air-1 as one of my presets and would listen to it once in a while. However, I still mostly listened to other radio stations.
So What Happened?
During my senior year of college, I had my first boyfriend and when we broke up, I was pretty devastated. We had dated for a year, and I began to understand he didn’t want to live a life in service to the Lord. I was torn because I wanted to please the Lord and walk according to how Jesus would, but I really thought I liked this guy and wanted to make it work. I sought advice from my Pastor’s wife, my Pastor, my mom of course, and even fasted and prayed. I wanted the easy way out-someone to tell me to break it off-but those who I sought counsel from told me I need to seek the Lord for an answer. 2 Corinthians 6:14 says, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?” (ESV). The Lord made it crystal clear that I needed to break it off. A few minutes after I broke it off, I called my brother Matthew crying. He is one of the most gentle, wise souls I know and love. He told me that I need to saturate myself in the Lord.
For the next several days, I only listened to Christian music on Pandora. I remember listening to Lauren Daigle’s “Trust in You” and that resided with me. These words impacted me immensely: “When You don't move the mountains I’m needing You to move, When You don't part the waters, I wish I could walk through, When You don't give the answers, As I cry out to You, I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You.”
Coincidentally, Jael invited me to a concert about a month later after my breakup and Lauren Daigle was the opener for Hillsong United. I was still sensitive and healing, and when Lauren Daigle came out on stage and sang “First”, where it is about placing Christ first in our lives-I lost it. Balling tears of happiness, sadness, relief-I was happy to know I made the right decision and knew I wanted to truly put Christ first in my life.
Ever since then I have just naturally wanted to listen to Christian worship music. I honestly don’t have a desire to listen to anything else. Every day on my drive to and from work, I listen to either K-Love or Air-1. When I come home, I have Alexa playing worship music. I find I always have a song in my heart, and I dwell on the Lord more. It is almost like I am in a continual state of praise. My thought life has become more positive from it as well. Now don’t get me wrong I appreciate all types of music, (well,except for heavy metal, death metal, sad music lol). And I don’t like all worship music-some is cheesy or doesn’t have much depth (the songs that sing the same 7 words a million times), or I just don’t care for it.
How Did Changing My Music Change My Life?
Changing my music was a huge step for me to live more Christ-like. For me, at the time I was single, I was focused on my singleness, and listening to love songs made me focus more on wanting to be in a relationship than my relationship with Jesus Christ. Also, listening to non-Christian music, I felt like I had this alter-ego (SOUNDS CRAZY I’m sure) I’d want to be cool and would imagine myself in a music video lookin’ fly. (Admit it, you’ve done the same thing). If friends got in my car, I’d want to impress them with my music. I’d listen to music with inappropriate or suggestive lyrics, and cursing, and my mind became numb to the content I was letting in my heart. Instead of thinking how can I impress others, or look cool, or be relevant with current media, I am now thinking how can I be a better person? How can I be a better Christian? Changing my music made me aware of my thought life. My brain was absorbing music that wasn’t always positive, uplifting, or kind.
Take Aways and My Current View of Music
I share my experience not to tell other believers to stop listening to non-Christian music and solely listen to Praise & Worship. What you choose to listen to is your right, and no one should tell you what you can or can’t listen to. Changing your life has to start with your heart, not influences from other people. As Christians, God gives us freedom and we all have different convictions. What might be a conviction for me may not be a conviction for you. The Bible is clear on how we ought to live our lives, and as long as we strive to live in obedience to Christ and turn from sin, that’s all that matters.
My mom is one of the most spiritual people I know. I am blessed to have grown up with her and my dad pouring their wisdom and love for God into my life. My mom is an incredible example of being like Jesus. Growing up, she was always loving and gentle and never condemned me. She spoke the truth and never wavered but also had so much love and compassion I took whatever she had to heart. She told me once that everything we do either feeds the flesh or feeds the spirit. I learned that listening to certain music was feeding my flesh. Listening to praise feeds my spirit and in turn, I feel like my brain is less polluted. Music is just one way it can either positively or negatively impact our minds. What we let into our lives can also do the same. I love a good whodunnit but watching Forensic Files back to back on Netflix isn’t going to be beneficial to me (I have to limit how many murder mysteries I watch). Maybe you watch the news all the time despite it putting a lot of negativity in your brain.
I still love good music that makes you jump out of your seat and dance, oldies like Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Billy Joel, Hits from the 60s-80s, and current pop/rock music. I know God wants us to enjoy life, and He gives us those freedoms. God also wants us to fellowship with Him, and I think that it is important to examine our lives and find areas of our life that are robbing time with God. Just like maintaining a healthy diet, moderation is key. It may not be music in your life that you need to monitor, it could be something completely different. Point is, we all can make little life modifications to improve our walk with God.