See No Evil, Hear No Evil
by Sylvia Alves
I’d like to share my brief testimony so you’ll understand why I take the stance that I take regarding secular music and television. One of the most challenging areas for me to get delivered from early in my walk was secular music and reality TV. Now, let me be the first to say, my transformation was not a radical one and probably not like most. I know we all have our own unique story. I would love to say that I had a “come to Jesus” moment, was saved and lived happily ever after…NOT! Not to mention, that would not be my truth.
Television and music were my favorite pass times, especially music. I grew up in a household where music was constant. My father played the conga drums and bongos. Friday and sometimes Saturday nights were like a full-fledged concert at my house. My father would have the volume on high. We had surround sound. The artists ranged from Curtis Mayfield, Isaac Hayes War to Mark Anthony. It was cool until my sister and I would want to watch TV, but the bass overpowered the volume on the TV.
I adopted this regime as I got older. I would listen to all types of music, i.e. Pop, Rap, R&B, Salsa; you name it, I listened to it with a few exceptions. At one point, I was listening to music more than I was watching TV, especially if I had experienced a heartbreak. I would like to pull out my Mary J. Blige and Waiting to Exhale CDs. It was like a temporary fix.
I got saved in a time where reality TV was pretty much dominating the airways. I watched everything from all the Housewives, Love and Hip Hop, Basketball Wives, Football Wives, Couple’s Therapy, and Catfish―just to name a few. My Sundays would consist of watching Lifetime movies and Snapped. Like Lay’s Potato Chips, you can’t just watch one episode or story and be done. Lifetime did a good job of sucking you in, and before you knew it, several hours had passed. 1 John 2:16 reads, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”
When we become saved, we are supposed to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Eventually, we shouldn’t desire to watch the same shows or listen to the same music once we accept Jesus Christ into our hearts. Notice, I wrote eventually because it happens at different times and stages in our walks. Everyone’s story is unique. The quicker you surrender and submit to His will, the more He can move mightily in your life.
Slowly but surely, the Lord began to deal with my heart. I slowly stopped watching the aforementioned shows. I got tired of the name-calling, backbiting and the exploitation of African American women. Not to mention, I started to be bothered by the profanity, even though the words were censored, after all, I still basically knew what the characters were saying. The Holy Spirit was starting to convict me. I knew that this was not pleasing to Abba, Father. I started to watch things that were more edifying to my spirit. I am to the point now that if I watch two hours of television in a week, that’s a lot. It is such a time-waster in my opinion. Matthew 6:22 (NIV) reads, “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light.”
With regards to music, I started to notice that I would feel a certain way after listening to specific songs. There would be times I would mourn the loss of my father (he transitioned in May 2015) and would listen to his favorite song: Four Corner Room by War. I would be in a dark place. It wasn’t just the fact that my father was no longer here, it was the dark and depressing lyrics. You see, music carries spirits. You may be thinking, it is not that deep,. Oh, but it is! I remember being in the club back in the day, and folks would go crazy and be ready to fight when the song, “Knuck if You Buck” by Crime Mob came on. If you didn’t want to be involved in the chaotic, rowdy scene, you had better cleared from the floor.
I went to college in Delaware―a lot of people from Maryland and DC attended the school. They had their own style of music called Go-Go. It was not uncommon for fights to break out at a concert or party because of the song lyrics.
We’ve also heard of the few cases where people have taken their lives or displayed aggressive behavior after listening to a heavy metal song or displayed aggressive behavior. Pediatrics: Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics states the following, “Heavy metal music-listening has also been associated with increased depression, delinquency risk behavior,smoking, and conduct problems. Fans of heavy metal and rap music showed a greater tendency to engage in reckless behavior than their peers who were not fans of those types of music.”
John 1:5 (NIV) says: “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.” 1 John 2:15 (NIV) says: 5 “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.”
I hope you see and understand why we must guard our ear and eye gates. Music and television are very influential and both are very powerful. As you mature and grow in your walk with God, you will no longer desire to listen the same type of music you once listened to before you got saved. The same goes for watching certain television shows. So, if you are unsure of what to watch or listen to, just ask yourself the following questions: Would Jesus be pleased? Is this edifying to my spirit?
Edited by Georgie-Ann Neil