In high school my best friend and I had designated music days: Michael (Jackson) Monday, Turn Back Tuesday, Throw Down Thursday, Freestyle Friday, and can you guess what Wednesday was?

Wash Your Mouth Out Wednesday.

The consequences of listening to secular music week after week that brought little to no glory to God resulted in a bitter, filthy mind. After a few weeks of this cycle, I began to find it hard to “jam out” when I listened to “Christian music.” Everything I listened to was degrading and tore down my heart and soul as well as my ability to sing praises to my Lord.

I knew I was in trouble when I began to listen to explicit music on all other days of the week on top of Wednesdays. I’ll admit I did feel cool knowing songs everyone else knew and being able to sing along with my non-Christian friends despite the filthiness my mouth and mind began to exude. Soon, every day became “Wash Your Mouth Out Wednesday.”

Emily Brown is a sophomore at Corban.

Emily Brown is a sophomore at Corban.

And that’s exactly what I needed to be doin—I needed some serious mouthwash, something with the highest-cleansing alcohol content to cleanse my trap of filth.

Not only had I begun to listen to explicit lyrics on a regular basis, but I began to think curses and corrupt thoughts as well. I had begun to influence my friends and expose them to the same dirt I was filling my heart with. Whenever I was in a car playing Christian music I began to resent the person DJ-ing. I questioned their “coolness” and their ability to have fun. What were they “turning down for?”

My answer—everything. They were boring. I asked myself, “How could anyone turn the dial to Air 1 or The Fish and find any satisfaction at all?” It was all boring to me, worshiping my Savior had become something only done in church on Sundays, and even then it was a drag.

When I arrived at Corban last fall, Christ began to change my heart as my friends discouraged my music selection and encouraged my faith. God pointed out a simple fact: if I couldn’t sing more than 90% of a song due to the explicit or censored language, should I really be listening to it? I was now officially convicted.

Proverbs 3:23 tells us, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” I began to realize that indulging in such music created a heart that only absorbed vile and condemning thoughts and words. This was no way to build a heart that pours and speaks life into others.

I do not wish to condemn – I wish to encourage. We are to build each other up (1 Thessalonians 5:11), and how shall we do this if we do not build ourselves up? God’s grace is sufficient for us in all areas. When I decided to follow Jesus I vowed that I would turn from my wicked ways and not indulge in the things of this world. Not that I don’t listen to secular music but I carefully choose the songs I partake in. It’s important to analyze the music and not fill our ears with meaningless words. Not all secular music uses the Lord’s name in vain, speaks of sexual relations, or even has the little red box encasing the words “explicit,” but this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be wary.

Let us be a community of believers who follow the commands of Psalm 105:2, “Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works.”