I love Music! All kinds! I have music on in my house pretty much 24/7. But more than just being entertainment, music can be a powerful tool. It can lift our mood, or bring us down. God can use it to speak to us or it can draw us further away from Him all depending on what we are listening to.
Now honestly I am not here to debate what kind of music you should or should not listen to, as I said I like all kinds of music, but there are times in our life where changing what we are listening to can truly change our life.
My daughter and I were talking about this the other day. She was looking into a few bands that a friend of hers had recommended and checking the content of what they sang about. As we read through some of the lyrics it gave me a chance to talk to her about what we allow ourselves to listen to and the effect it can have on us. I was able to share a story with her of a specific time in my life where changing what I listened to allowed the opportunity for God to work in my heart and really changed my life.
I grew up in an abusive home, and while I don’t want to get into the details of it in this post, it is enough to know that it left me with a lot of anger and hurt. I moved out when I was 18 years old and for the first time in my life I had the freedom to do what I wanted. It didn’t take long before my once strong faith took a back seat to what seemed exciting and fun at the time. Music was one of the first things that changed. In my home I was not allowed to listen to anything but Christian music, and believe me, back in the 80’s Christian Music was not what it is now. So when I got on my own, I started to discover plenty of different bands and all different kinds of music. Not that there is anything wrong with listening to music other than Christian, but some of what I was choosing to listen to had a message that was certainly less than Christian. I remember clearly there was one song in particular that I listened to that kind of became my mantra so to speak. I would sing it over and over and allow it to fill me, but what it really filled me with was more anger, more hurt and a healthy dose of unforgiveness. None of that is a very fun way to live, especially when you are a lonely young girl.
However, one Saturday morning as I was sitting in bed, I found an old tape(yes a cassette tape it was that long ago) that I hadn’t listened to in a long time. It was from the Christian Band White Heart. The song that came on as I began to listen to the tape was a song called Seventy times 7 you can look it up if you want by clicking the link. The song starts out by crying out to God about how many times do we have to go through pain, why is it always the innocent that seem to be the ones that get hurt and why is God asking us to let it go? The song goes on like this for a few verse and then the bomb drops! The final verse of the song brings these lyrics:
How many times
Have You wept from the anguish
of all my shame?
How many times
Have I nailed You up on the cross of pain?
You bled from a broken heart
and I was to blame
Seventy times seven
I remember hearing those words, words I had heard a thousand times before when I had listened to that tape, but this time they hit me like a ton of bricks. Tears began to fall and I realized that all the anger I had inside of me was killing me and with God’s help it was time to forgive. Seeing what I was doing in the light of what Jesus had done for me completely changed my perspective. I sat down and wrote a long letter, not only forgiving the person I was so angry with, but also, asking for their forgiveness for the way I had treated them. I can say that from that day till now, my relationship with this person has been different. I felt like a new person, I felt like the sun finally came out after years of rain. Of course, the truth was the Son did come out. It was only Jesus that allowed me to forgive and move forward in my life with a new heart. And truth be told, I have never listened to that other song again since that day.
This story allowed me the opportunity to teach my daughter the importance of what we allow ourselves to listen to. We have all heard the whole garbage in garbage out statement, but the truth is that what we allow to speak into our lives does matter.
If you feel down, lonely, hurt or filled with pain, take a look at what you are allowing to speak into your life. What are your listening to, is it bringing healing or despair? Is it pointing you to life or is it bringing death? Maybe it is time to find that “old tape” and allow God to speak to you and bring the healing that only He can bring.