Psalm 47:6 says “Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises!”
I hate Christian radio, on account of it’s terrible. Lately, therefore, I’ve taken to listening solely to secular radio. This has been a good summer for hits anyway, so why not?
But in reading Scripture and praying, I’ve been convicted that I deprive myself when I only listen to secular music. Now, I think that all non-sinful secular music is game for Christians (e.g. “Ten Thousand Hours” is OK, “Blurred Lines” is not), and I’m not talking about Christian versus secular. Listen to non-sinful secular music all you want. But not to the exclusion of Christian music. Singing praises to God is important, and wonderful, and something strange happens to the soul when we sing truth about and to God, something that doesn’t always happen when we talk about him, or pray to him, or preach him. Singing is like the calcium channel in “Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves.” (First person to understand that reference gets a blog post written in their honor.)
But this understanding of singing praise to God doesn’t make Christian radio any better for people like me. How can I worship God without feeling like “if it’s bad, it must be good for me?” I think there are a few ways.
1) Sing to yourself. I’ve made singing hymns, songs, and spiritual songs a regular part of my devotions. In reading and praying through and meditating on a verse or passage of Scripture, if a song comes to mind, I sing that song. It makes every morning a little individual worship service. I love it.
2) Make up songs. If you have talent, write songs. If you don’t (like me), then just sing new lyrics to songs you already know. They don’t have to be good, and no one except the Lord will hear them. But they are an exercise of singing truth to the Lord in a new song.
3) Use internet radio. Spotify has a ton of Christian music for the hearing. There are good Christian artists out there, and with a little effort you can sort through the bleh and find music that makes your soul sing.
I realize that not everybody is a musician, and not everybody loves music in the same way or to the same degree. But don’t let a lack of good music keep you from praising God through song. There’s no good reason for it.