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Fuss About Music
Photo: Sergei Krassii
Every time I hear this song, I’m 16 again. Driving with friends, windows down, radio up, hot wind tearing through my long brown hair.

I haven’t heard it in years, but I know all the words. I sing along, roll down my window and pretend I’m not supposed to be a grownup now.

My husband and I are great lovers of music. Between the two of us, our computer holds almost 5000 songs—enough to play nonstop with no repeating for more than 11 days. Most of it I love, much of it would make my mom cringe and all of it affects me in one way or another.

When I was a teenager, it seemed everyone was up in arms about music. Some boycotted anything with a syncopated rhythm, others railed against guitars and drum sets in church. My Christian boarding school had a strict music policy; we could only have certain approved CDs and radios weren’t allowed in the dorm. I couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about. I’d always loved music, and most of what I listened to wasn’t on the approved list. I wasn’t a devil worshipper, I rarely got in trouble, and I had no intentions of running away from home, having a baby at 15 or any of the other things adults seemed to blame on rock and roll.

Feeding Your Ears and Brain

My boarding school dean used to say, “Garbage in, garbage out.” And while I didn’t (and still don’t) always agree with her definition of garbage, at least when it comes to most music, I have come to understand what she was talking about. Whether it is music, movies or friendly chitchat, what I put into my mind manifests itself in my life. I become sensitized to whatever I see and hear, and things that were shocking or strange suddenly aren’t so odd anymore when I see or sing about them often enough.

Phillipians 4:8 encourages us to really think about what we think about. "Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious--the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse."

You are the only one who can decide what is right for you. It’s important to start making good decisions as a teenager so that good choices become habit. An important part of becoming an adult is realizing that what you put into your body, mentally or physically, changes and shapes who you are and who you will become.

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By Lauren Schwarz. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from THE MESSAGE ®.

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