How’s your year going? Mine is going very well. A lot has been happening so fast with me already and I’m so much looking forward to what this year has to offer slash what I make of the year through God’s help. I’m a firm believer in the fact that life is what you make of it. Fine, there is destiny and all but you have the power to walk according to your destiny or to have it re-written by the enemies or by God. God could have planned great stuff for you and then you decide to walk against His plans so at the end of the day, a lot hinges on you and your choices. I digress… Anyway, today, I want to talk about something that gets me wondering sometimes. I’m hoping y’all can shed some light on the issue.
Okay, in 2007, I decided to stop listening to certain songs. I’m really into music, a whole lot. Back in the day, I knew the lyrics to all my favourite songs. It was never enough to know just the chorus, I had to know every line. For some random reason, I’m not exactly like people who say ‘oh, I’m just listening to it for the melody. It does not have any effect on me’. That will just be me deceiving myself. I practically meditate on these songs mehn.
When I listen to songs, I would imagine that I were the one singing the song. I would imagine performing the song to a crowd. I remember one ‘Lonely, I’m so lonely’ song like that. I would imagine being the recipient of the apology, love and attention. I even used to act in front of the mirror (Good Lawd, I was so weird then and being the only girl did not help, lol). Because of these reasons and more, I knew that at some point, I had to totally give up certain songs in order to strengthen my relationship with God. These ‘certain songs’ were any non-Christian songs. I could not be singing those songs and ‘Holy Holy Holy’ with the same lips, I thought.
For a long long while, I totally went teetotal on ‘worldly’ songs. None whatsoever! I shielded myself and as I’m not really into parties, I hardly stumbled on them. It’s only when I go into shops that I would hear some songs. I was totally engrossed in the Micah Stampleys and the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choirs and the Midnight Crews. I was totally into the whole gospel scene and also, being in the Choir made it easy to carry on with my resolve.
Well, all that was until I heard one song called ‘Yori Yori’ in ’09. I must be honest, I was totally hooked! As soon as I got home, I went straight to my YouTube and searched frantically for the song. It was not that hard to find. I listened to the song non-stop for days. I went back to my usual imaginative self and imagined that it was me they wrote the song for *grabs head in shame* lol. Any tinge of guilt I felt was quickly stamped upon by justifications such as ‘it’s just a beautiful love song, there is nothing wrong. God is love nah’.
Anyways, Yori Yori led to others and before I could say ‘Caramel Latte’ three times, I was into all those Naija songs all over again. I would try to keep them ‘clean’. After a while, I stopped listening. But then again, I started questioning myself, ‘is there anything really wrong with these songs?’, ‘are you not being an extremist Temi?’ ‘are you not gonna play love songs at your wedding?’, ‘on your wedding night, will you be playing ‘Only you are holy’ or ‘Draw me close to you’ lol?. It was so so so hard but I eventually stopped.
Something helped me which I’d go on to share and I hope will help anyone else who is presently like I was and is struggling to know where exactly to draw the line in reference to various issues. It could be things like taking favours from people for doing your job, striking certain ‘deals’ which are not totally ‘pure’, knowing standards in relationships, etc. When things are not black and white, when God does not make it crystal clear what His expectations are, what exactly do we do? Do we stay as close to the mark ‘sin‘ as possible without touching it or do we stay as far away as possible? Do we quote the passage on if you think it is sin, then it is sin therefore, sin is relative or we cite the ‘flee from all appearances of sin’ scripture?
Like Paul said in I Corinthians 6:12, All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any and in 1 Corinthians 10:23, All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.
This means somethings might not appear as though they are wrong, in fact, they might not even be wrong, however, we should get to a point where instead of asking, ‘is this sin?’, we ask ‘am I being edified by this? ‘Is this building me up or breaking me down, after listening to these songs, do I still feel like praying?’ This is the level Paul got to. It was not about seeking to know how far he could stretch the Word without breaking it, it was about the effect these things were having on him and his relationship with God.
Therefore, I still make a conscious effort not to listen to non-Christian songs because of my propensity to get drawn into them and dwell on them. It is a personal choice and whilst I don’t condemn those who decide to listen to them, if they seek my opinion, I will gently remind them how music is the key to your soul and how it is so easy to fill one’s self up with all manners of rubbish and as we know, ‘garbage in, garbage out’. Therefore, I guard my heart with all diligence because out of it flows the issues of life.
On a random note, I wonder if it is having a double standards to actively plan to listen to John Legend, BoysIIMen with one’s spouse because they are ‘love songs’ but not now because they are ‘worldly’. Is it double standards loving X Factor but not listening to these stars afterwards?
I will encourage us to endeavour to draw closer and closer to God and I know by so doing, He will shed light to anything that is unclear and give us the wisdom to know where exactly to draw the line.
What do you guys think? Muse with me!
That’s all people (for now)