The Power of Music
Anyone who has read much of my blog knows that I love music. I’ve devoted my Monday posts to music topics and many other days end up including a music component, too. Music can lift my spirits, give me encouragement, and get me moving when I’m down. But over the years I’ve learned that not all music has this positive impact.
Many years ago I listened to a lot of grunge music. It was my favorite genre in the late 80s and into the 90s. This was a time in my life when I was struggling with major depression, and I liked grunge because it expressed how I felt.
I remember when my dad died in 1993, I kept listening to the song “Indifference” by Pearl Jam. I won’t post the video because it’s not a song I want to encourage anyone to listen to. But the first four lines sum up the gist of the song:
i will light the match this mornin’, so i won’t be alone
watch as she lies silent, for soon light will be gone
i will stand arms outstretched, pretend i’m free to roam
i will make my way, through, one more day in hell…
Listening to this song never made me feel better, but I just kept listening to it, missing my dad, feeling alone and like I was living in hell.
We all know the old saying “misery loved company.” I think that is the draw of music like grunge or the blues, to know that someone else understands your misery seems comforting. But when the music doesn’t end with hope or any words of encouragement, it’s the wrong company to be in when a person is struggling or feeling down.
We all have times of struggling, of loved ones lost or illness we can’t find a cure to, of lost jobs or spiritual pain that just won’t end. When those times come, there is a lot of great music out there to lift your spirits and give you hope. That’s the kind of music I choose to listen to these days and the kind I like to share on Monday.
I do still love to listen to the blues, but preferably when things are going well in my life. At these times it is a reminder of the struggles of this life that we all endure so that I remember to be compassionate towards those I encounter who may be struggling and to be thankful for God seeing me through my own struggles.
One of my blogging friends called me her “music mentor” in a recent comment. I like that title. I am thankful that the Lord has led me to good music that does provide hope and encouragement, and with this forum to share it. If you need a good song to lift you up, just let me know. I’d be blessed to be able to point you in the right direction.
If you’d ever like to share a playlist of hopeful music, music that is particularly helpful to people who are in less than hopeful situations, I’d appreciate it. I’m particularly interested in music that I can share with young adults or older teens, music that is both honest and hopeful. God’s peace to you!
Steve, That is a great idea! I will work on that for an upcoming Music Monday post. Don’t know if I’ll be able to get it done for tomorrow, but definitely by next week. 🙂 Peace, Linda
Thank you so much, Linda. for this post and for all the music you bring us. 🙂 I, too, used to listen to less than encouraging tunes. I remember one was a song about suicide . . .not helpful for me!!! Many would tell me that they just like the music, didn’t pay attention to the lyrics, but that wasn’t the case for me. I was definitely influenced by the lyrics too. Was so thankful when someone told me about Christian music after I came to Jesus! I had given up the other stuff, but missed having music in my life. And now I have you!!! 🙂
God bless you and your music ministry for Him!
Deb, I think even those who say they don’t listen to the lyrics are still influenced by what they hear. But I’m like you – I always pay attention to the lyrics of a song. I was so pleased when I discovered good Christian music in styles I enjoy, and I Iove sharing it. It is such a blessing to me to be a blessing to you and others by my sharing and encouraging. Peace, Linda
I love your blog. Music is a powerful force for good or for evil. I am blessed to say that I grew up in a home where music was a part of our life… and if it wasn’t classical, i broke the silence with rock…. or my mom would be working in the kitchen with the cool jazz and big band sounds. Music is a gift from Jesus to make this life tolerable, bearable. Keep writing. Don;t Stop. And I am glad that you have found answers to those deep emotions of loss.
Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment. I do love a lot of styles of music – so long as the lyrics are encouraging. I agree that music is one of Jesus’ gifts to help us through, along with the gifts of His word and the Holy Spirit. Peace, Linda