You Become What You Listen To
I love music. I have always loved how a good song can cause you to move your body and also move your heart. My grandmother tells a story of when I was one year old. She was babysitting me. It was the first time that I had been apart from my mother for any time, and I was nervous. She said that I was moping about, hoping that I would see mama soon. Then I discovered that Grandma Mary had a tape deck and a stereo. She describes how even though I could barely walk, no one could stop me from stretching my chunky little fingers up to the play button to hear what magic the cassette would produce. My diapered behind wiggled all day to the sounds of my favorite album at the time, Singable Songs for the Very Young by Raffi, and brought much-needed comfort during my time of separation. For thirty-eight years since then, I have always enjoyed great music.
Yip Harburg was a songwriter and musician that gained international notoriety by writing the lyrics for the Wizard of Oz, including Somewhere Over the Rainbow. He explained his view of music with this timeless quote:
This profound revelation exposes what I believe: music is spiritual. It is far more than just words set to a collection of notes and harmonies from various instruments — more than just the vibrations of air molecules at different frequencies hitting our eardrums and transmitting to our brains. According to an article entitled, Your Brain on Music, from the University of Central Florida,
“Since 2006, two UCF professors — neuroscientist Kiminobu Sugaya and world-renowned violinist Ayako Yonetani — have been teaching one of the most popular courses in The Burnett Honors College. “Music and the Brain” explores how music impacts brain function and human behavior, including by reducing stress, pain, and symptoms of depression as well as improving cognitive and motor skills, spatial-temporal learning, and neurogenesis, which is the brain’s ability to produce neurons.”
Their studies have proven that music can:
- Change your ability to perceive time
- Tap into primal fear
- Reduce seizures
- Make you a better communicator
- Make you stronger
- Boost your immune system
- Assist in repairing brain damage
- Make you smarter
- Evoke memories
- Help Parkinson’s patients
I recently saw a Youtube video that deeply moved me. It showed a former Spanish Ballerina named Marta C. González bound in a wheelchair and stricken with Alzheimer’s disease. Some friends placed a pair of headphones on her ears and played a selection from Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake.” It was as if she had been transported back fifty years in a time machine. The form and function of her entire upper body came to life as she perfectly put her hands and arms in the correct positions that she had performed on stage in New York in 1967. It was so stunning and powerful that it brought me to tears. Only music and Pixar movies can do that to me in such powerful ways.
I believe that this is a mark of God’s image that he created within us all. God is the author of music and made us be moved by it. There are plenty of scriptures that show us that Heaven is full of music. And we also know that whatever God creates for good, the enemy will twist for evil. The eternal enemy of men’s souls has used music to destroy so many people’s souls.
In the third chapter of the Prophet Daniel, we read how the king of Babylon set up a massive statue of gold and commanded the whole nation to bow down and worship it. But how? It was directly related to the playing of music:
Dan 3:5 NKJV — 5 “[that] at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, [and] psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, you shall fall down and worship the gold image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up;
The Devil has been using music to make people bow down and worship his image since the beginning of time. Today, the number one song in the world is by Lil Nas X, previously covered in this episode. When that song plays, millions of young people bow down to the God of self, sex, perversion, and Satan himself. This leads us to this truth: You worship what you listen to, and you become what you worship. Therefore, you are becoming the things you listen to.
I learned this the hard way when I was a new believer. For months after my conversion, I would have powerful experiences with God in church, only to hop in my car and denigrate my soul with the filth of secular popular music. I knew it was a problem, but I wasn’t ready to give it up until God dealt with me one day. It was either His will or my will. I quit running and destroyed all of my valuable CDs in the dumpster at the church parking lot. That dumpster was my altar, and I made a sacrifice that still affects me today.
How many times you say it.. it is still a lie to tell yourself that the music in your headphones will not affect who you are. You cannot pump toxic sludge into your mind and not produce radioactive filth in your soul. It will affect you, how you live, the decisions you make, and the company you keep.
Make up your mind to remove any perverse music from your playlists. Maybe even go a step further, only listen to music that brings you closer to the Lord, instead of further away. The good news is that there is so much music today that will inspire, uplift, encourage, and reveal God’s truth to you. I have crafted a Funky Jesus playlist on Apple Music or on Spotify to get you started if you are interested.
I can guarantee that if you put yourself on a musical diet, there will be attractive benefits in the short term and long term.