Music makes you braver.

Posted: September 8, 2015 by abestratton in Culture

I like music as much as the next guy. To be transparent, I’m a pretty emotional dude. I like power music for working out, love songs for dates, quiet tunes for background, worship music for anytime.

But this morning I saw a statement which made me stop and think: “Music makes you braver.”

Does it? Does it really?

I know music arouses feelings; it stirs desire; it provokes imagination; it even inspires thought. In our culture we use music for everything; it’s everywhere. I mean, how did football players prep for games before Dre Beats? How did people celebrate weddings before DJs? How did our grandparents go to sleep before headphones? How did teenage men storm the beaches of Normandy before jams? How did husbands date their wives before playlists? How did churches worship before amps? How did Christians face the coliseum and the stake before Spotify?

Music communicates, and it stirs. But I think there’s a subtle and dangerous lie out there that music can make you something that you’re not. “You can be the jacked dude that everybody stares at.” “You can be the church that everybody comes to.” “You can be the one that everybody likes.” “You can save the world.”

I hear it. I feel it. There’s something in the power music that makes me think I’m superman. There’s something in the love songs that makes me think my wife (or even other women) can’t resist me. There’s something in the worship music that makes me feel like I’m close to God. But are those things really true? Does music itself make those things true?

Music is a gift. It’s a unique medium given by the Creator and crafted by His image-bearers to point us, not to ourselves, but to Him. But music cannot and must not be the substitute for God himself. Music cannot change us like our Creator can. Music cannot reshape us like our Creator can. Music cannot ennoble us like our Creator can.

There is a quiet and silent place where true change happens. Moments, days, weeks, and years actually shape character. Countless acts of self-denial empowered by the Spirit of God actually make me loving. Daily knowing, following, and imitating the Great Hero actually makes me heroic. Consistent and personal investment in reading the Christian Bible and talking to God actually make me close to Him.

Music is a tool; it is a gift. But it can never be the substitute.

Be still. Stop. Cease. And know that I am God (Psalm 46:10).

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