When we first took that step of faith to commit our lives to Christ, a lot of us were on a spiritual high. I know I was. Within that first month I deleted all of my "secular" music, went to multiple Bible studies a week, and stopped going out to house parties on the weekend. My Friday and Saturday nights consisted of playing 2k with my roommates or going over to a friend's house where we would play card games and have biblical discussions. I still remember the day I deleted my music. I literally played every song from my iPod. After the long reminiscing session was over, I pressed the delete button that I had been dreading to click. My 1400 song playlist dwindled down to only 100.
At the time I felt it was the best move for me. I wasn't that strong spiritually and I was trying to grow deep in Christ. I thought everything that wasn’t about God was evil. Today I have definitely matured a lot with my faith walk. God has really opened up my eyes on a lot of areas. A lot the things that I once viewed as evil, I learned weren't evil at all. No offense to 2k (which is a very fun game by the way) or the people that I used to spend every weekend having biblical discussions with, but that way of life got boring real quick. I now understand why my friends would give me that weird look when I would tell them what I would be doing for the weekend. "Is that all y'all do? I know you're a Christian now but can't you have fun?" I was too young in the faith to really know what to do. Everything seemed like a sin and all I wanted to do was please God. That way of life seemed like the only way for me to please him. This is God we're talking about though. He made the whole universe. There's millions of ways to please him beside doing those same activities. And just because God’s name isn’t being sung in a song doesn’t mean it’s sinful to listen to. I believe some secular music can glorify God. When I was going through one of the lowest moments of my life, it wasn’t Chris Tomlin or Hillsong that got me through it. It was artist like Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole that really helped me. J. Cole’s “Love Yourz” was my motivational theme song during that low point. It really helped me to appreciate my life more and be thankful in seasons of struggle.
We can really discredit a lot of God’s goodness by having the mindset that everything is evil when it doesn’t involves the name of God. Everything that God created is good (1 Timothy 4:4). This does not mean that we can do everything though (1 Corinthians 10:23). It’s us humans that taint the goodness of what God created. Because of our sinful nature, something that was meant to glorify God can easily cause us to do the opposite. We must rely on The Holy Spirit to guide us in our decision making and lead us in the right direction. Not everything is written in plain in the Bible. There’s nothing in it that talks about social media, or rap music, or video games, or even football. So I would just encourage you to really pray on it. If you feel convicted when you watch late night comedy shows, stop watching it. If a song makes you wanna do the nasty with your girlfriend after listening to it, stop listening to it. If you feel convicted when you drink alcohol, don’t drink it. It becomes a sin when you feel convicted about something but still continue to do it (Romans 14:23). Another thing to remember is to not criticize other believers in the way they live (Romans 14:3-4). I remember I used to give some of my Christian friends the side-eye when I heard them listening to secular music or saw them order a Corona at a restaurant. And I thought you were supposed to be a Christian, were the thoughts that filled my mind. What right do we have to criticize though, as if we have never done any wrong? If it’s bluntly a sin, confront them about it. Do it in love though. However if it’s one of those gray areas, let it be. Don’t be a Pharisee and come up rule that’s not even in the Bible. Also if you know that one of your Christian friends struggles with a gray area that might cause them to stumble, don’t partake in that activity when you’re around them (Romans 14:21). I have friends that still only listen Christian music. If I’m riding in a car with them I’m not gonna play a secular artist. I know their lifestyle and I don’t want them to stumble.
I don’t want this article to cause anyone to stumble either. I just want us to really grasp God’s goodness and how he can use ANYTHING to show the world his glory. That one thing we might be condemning people for could very much be winning many souls to Christ (Ex: Christians refusing to listen to Lecrae because he’s collaborating with secular artist). Chew on that as you enjoy your weekend.
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