“When I get ready for my day, I turn on my music. When I get in the car, I turn on my music. When I’m at home relaxing, cleaning, even reading—my music is on. I’m always listening to music.”—Carla.
Do you share Carla’s enthusiasm for music? If so, this article will help you enjoy its benefits, avoid its pitfalls, and choose your music wisely.
Listening to music can be compared to eating food. In both cases, the right type in the right amount can be good for you. Consider:
Music can improve your mood.
“If I’m having a bad day, I can put on my favorite music and get almost immediate relief.”—Mark.
Music can take you back in time.
“Often, a particular song will remind me of a fond memory, so I’m happy every time I hear it.”—Sheila.
Music can create a powerful bond of unity.
“I was at an international convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and as all the visitors sang the final song, I was moved to tears. We spoke different languages, but the music united us.”—Tammy.
Music can help you cultivate valuable qualities.
“Learning to play a musical instrument helps you develop discipline and patience. It’s not something you can master quickly. The only way to get better at it is through practice.”—Anna.
Did you know? The largest book of the Bible—Psalms—is made up of 150 songs.
Some music, like tainted food, can be poisonous. Consider why.
Many songs contain sexually explicit lyrics.
“It seems as if all the popular songs are just about sex. They don’t even try to cover it up anymore.”—Hannah.
The Bible says: “Let sexual immorality and every sort of uncleanness or greediness not even be mentioned among you.” (Ephesians 5:3) Ask yourself, ‘Does my music hinder me from following that admonition?’
Some music can immerse you in sadness.
“Sometimes I lie awake at night listening to music that makes me think about things that depress and overwhelm me. Sad music can bring dark thoughts into my mind.”—Tammy.
The Bible says: “Above all the things that you guard, safeguard your heart.” (Proverbs 4:23) Ask yourself, ‘Does my music make me focus on negative thoughts?’
Some music can incite you to anger.
“Angry, self-loathing, hateful music is a subtle danger to me. I noticed a marked difference in my mood after I would listen to that kind of music. My family noticed it too.”—John.
The Bible says: “Put them all away from you: wrath, anger, badness, abusive speech, and obscene talk out of your mouth.” (Colossians 3:8) Ask yourself, ‘Does my music make me aggressive, perhaps even calloused to others’ feelings?’
The bottom line? Be selective. That’s what a teenager named Julie tries to do. “I’m constantly going through my music and deleting anything that I realize is inappropriate,” she says. “It’s not always easy, but I know it’s the right thing to do.”
A young woman named Tara is learning something similar. She says: “At times a song with a great beat will come on the radio, but then I’ll hear the lyrics and realize that I should change the station. Doing that is like tearing myself away from an amazing cinnamon roll after just one bite! But if I have the strength to reject a song about sex, I’ll more likely have the strength to reject the act of sex before marriage. I don’t want to underestimate the effect that my music can have on me.”