The title is misleading, because I’m going to talk about more than just the place of music. This thought was generated by what I can only describe as ‘mental chain lightning’. You are thinking about one thing, and all of a sudden it relates to something else, which in turn relates to something else, and so on. It all started like this…

I was listening to some music that a friend had posted on MySpace, here, when I listened to her song called “Let’s Discuss Social Justice.” I thought to myself, “If I were a social justice worker, what would I say were I to be on TV about work being done?” After some deliberation, I thought I might say that I was just (or we are just, in the case of an organization) “another drop in the bucket of people that are trying to change the world for the better. People need to realize that change doesn’t just come by way of social justice though, it takes on all kinds of forms.” Here I started listing off the ways people could help to change the world. Preaching and teaching, construction, feeding the hungry, healing the sick, defending those who are under attack…basically everything Jesus told us to do. Funny how that works, eh? But then I thought about music.

Music is the one thing that can never be taken from you. Sure, they can break your harmonica, steal your bagpipes, or fill your trumpet with cement, but they still haven’t taken music. You can sing in your head and your heart, and nobody will ever be the wiser.

You’re saying, “Sure, you can sing to yourself. Then what?” Think of the social power that music has over people. Disregarding content, all types of music will bring people together. Even if the music is hateful, people will still be drawn together when they share a similar taste for it. Kinda ironic, isn’t it? It is almost like they will begin to love one another because of their similar hatred. So with this in mind, we can see the binding power of music. It encourages as well, to whatever end. The song “In The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World tells us that ‘everything will be alright.’ On their own, these words do have power. But when you put them to music, with extra voices (guitars, drums) singing along with the same message, followed by a very expressive and uplifting performance solo…you have a recipe for increased encouragement.

I could go on this track for hours, but so could you. We understand that music has influence. Music is almost like an odd form of leadership in this way, because people do follow music. This isn’t true so much because of the words in a song, but the vibe, to put a word on it. Like it or not, music that you come into contact with will guide your life and impact it quite powerfully.

My charge to you and I is that we be careful. You’ve likely been told to be careful about the music you listen to, and I’ll reinforce that. However, I want you to be careful about how you play the music you do. If you are up there, playing worship music, do you play it with a joyful heart? Or are you harboring anger? If you are, you need to do something about it. It doesn’t matter if the song is the most lovely thing human ears have heard; if your heart is flash-boiling your blood because you are so mad, that will affect everyone around you. You might be singing truth, but the vibe will be full of hatred.

This might sound quite odd and extra-Biblical to some of you. Others know exactly what I mean. You have to admit, if your heart is not in line with what a song is saying, your message is, at best, only halfway there. Have you ever done a song when you knew it wasn’t all there in your heart? What about when others knew it too? I’ve had that, and that is the exact thing I am talking about.

I can’t really explain this any more. Hopefully I’ve stirred the pot enough to generate some conversation about this, and maybe I’ll try again.

The place that music holds in our world is of utmost importance. People are drawn to it no matter where they are from or what they have been through. We must ensure that the people around us sing songs of joy. That musical x-factor, that vibe, is contagious. Wouldn’t you rather it be a God-filled one?