Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Why I need Rhianna to get out of my head . . .

So, I had a unsettling experience this afternoon as I was heading home for lunch.  I got in the car and The Rhianna song, "S&M' was on.  If you are not familiar with the song, those letters do in fact mean what you think they mean.  As such, regardless of the musical merits of the song (Rhianna does know how to write hit songs) I am not a big fan.  
But this is where the really disconcerting part came in - without realizing what I was doing, I started singing along.  I did not know that I knew the words to the song, but there I was, singing right with her.  Now to be fair, its not like its a complicated chorus and it is catchy, but still.   I was really pretty upset that I knew the song enough to sing along with it, as I really don't like the message of the song, so it got me thinking . . . 
I think I am going to be walking a little bit of a fine line with this post, so before I go any further I share two Scripture passages:

2 Corinthians 6:14
Don't become partners with those who reject God. How can you make a partnership out of right and wrong? That's not partnership; that's war. Is light best friends with dark? Does Christ go strolling with the Devil? Do trust and mistrust hold hands? Who would think of setting up pagan idols in God's holy Temple? But that is exactly what we are, each of us a temple in whom God lives. God himself put it this way: "I'll live in them, move into them; I'll be their God and they'll be my people. So leave the corruption and compromise; leave it for good," says God. "Don't link up with those who will pollute you. I want you all for myself. I'll be a Father to you; you'll be sons and daughters to me." The Word of the Master, God.

Matthew 15:10
He then called the crowd together and said, "Listen, and take this to heart. It's not what you swallow that pollutes your life, but what you vomit up."

I think, at first glance, these two verses might seem a little contradictory.  I don't really think so, though.  The Matthew passage, at its parallel in Mark have Jesus making it clear that it isn't what goes in your stomach (or for our purposes, what goes in your ears) is not what pollutes you or makes you unclean.  Instead,  Jesus says it is about what we do, not what we eat or drink or listen too (???) that is what matters.  
Now, I am certainly not going to argue with Jesus, and I don't even want to.  One of the things about my relationship with Jesus that I really appreciate is the freedom we have to be ourselves - and I think that definitely includes listening to what we like.  
But now to the 2Corinthians passage, particularly this part: "Don't link up with those who will pollute you. I want you all for myself. I'll be a Father to you; you'll be sons and daughters to me." The Word of the Master, God.   
What I think is important here is the fact that our thoughts are almost always the basis of our actions.  We do certain things on instinct or without thinking, but most of the time the things we choose to do are things that we have first thought about doing.  Jesus seems to think so too as he makes the point that thinking about adultery, or murder, etc. is the same - from the perspective of sin as doing those things.  
So if our thoughts matter, I guess what I am saying is that the things we allow to influence our thoughts matter too.  
And that is what brings us back to Rhianna - and, of course, this isn't about Rhianna at all but rather what we choose to listen to, watch or read.  If, without any conscious effort I have memorized 'S&M' by Rhianna, isn't it logical to assert that the song - and more importantly, the meaning and values of the song - had at least some influence on my thoughts.  
I want to be clear that I am not advocating only listening to Christian music and only watching and reading Christian shows or books.  
But what I am saying is that if we are serious about our relationship with God and if we are serious about trying to follow God's will and plan for our lives then we must take seriously the things that we allow to have voice in our hearts, minds and lives.  
What that looks like for each of us, I suspect, will be different - just as we are all different, but I think it is important for us to at least be thinking about and prayerfully considering what it is we listen to, read and watch.  
I for one am hoping I don't secretly know any more Rhianna . . . although I do really like the New P. Diddy one, but that is a blog for another day.  
God Bless.

1 comment:

  1. the individual differences you speak of, I believe, are referenced in the Matt.'s what you vomit up - in other what you are listening to, reading or watching making you that what comes out in your life and actions...don't partake in something if it's going to sour inside of you ...
    good call