Our taste of music is very dependent on who we are, our upbringing and our personalities, and it is not possible to tell people what they should like and not like. However, as Christians there are guidelines in all of our choices, what we wear, what we eat, what we do, our careers, our life partners, and the music we listen to.
The main guideline
The main guideline must be “whether then you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31); and “whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the father through Him” (Colossians 3:17). In addition Paul tells us: “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things” (Philippians 4:8).
Not honoring God
There is a lot of popular music that in text, rhythm, or video clip is focused on sex in a way that is not honoring to God. Sex is marketed as a consumer article to enjoy whenever, however, with whomever, instead of the glorious union of a husband and wife within marriage that does not need to be displayed to the world. Creating wrong attitudes towards sex and sinful sexual desires are probably the main problems associated with popular music. Other music glorifies violence or drug use, talks with hate or contempt about groups of people.
So if the music we listen to is honoring and pleasing to God, such that we would be happy for the Lord to come and sit next to us whilst we are listening to our music, it is likely that it is fine. Also if the lyrics or mood of the music is uplifting and causes us to praise the Lord, grow as a Christian, or draw nearer to him, then this sort of music is probably acceptable for a Christian.
Warning of the Holy Spirit
If you have any doubts whether the music you are listening to is suspect, or you feel a bit unhappy in listening to it, then it is very likely that the Holy Spirit is warning you to stop listening and walk away, and not engage in listening to such music. It is a well known fact that music can affect your moods, your attitudes, and your subconscious mind, and therefore your relationship with God. We are told to guard our hearts, “above all else, guard you heart for everything you do flows from it” (Proverbs 4:23). When we are focused on the Lord, also in our choices which music to listen to, Philippians 4:7 promises us the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus.
Enjoy music that honors God and lifts you up
Of course, listening to Christian music, whether it is modern gospel, hymns, or classical music, is a great way to enjoy music that honors God and lifts you up. Rather than trying to determine what music you can get away with without God getting too angry, why not seek out the music that is most pleasing to him and most healthy for you spiritually?
If you desire to be a strong effective Christian, addressing the issue of the music you listen to, or anything else you do, is vital, because we no longer have the right to make our own decisions. We belong to Christ and must submit to him. If God’s peace fills our lives, hearts and minds, this will be a good measure of whether we have made right decisions or not.