VIRTUE, n. vur’tu. [L. virtus, from vireo, or its root. See Worth.]
3. Moral goodness; the practice of moral duties and the abstaining from vice, or a conformity of life and conversation to the moral law. In this sense, virtue may be, and in many instances must be, distinguished from religion. The practice of moral duties merely from motives of convenience, or from compulsion, or from regard to reputation, is virtue, as distinct from religion. The practice of moral duties from sincere love to God and his laws, is virtue and religion.
Sex. Hedonism. Vulgarity. Promiscuity.
Turn on the TV, you see it.
Turn on the radio, and you’ll hear it.
Check out at the grocery store, you’re surrounded by it.
It seems hard to escape nowadays. While most people try to filter through it, the best method to avoid it all is to turn it off, or turn the other way.
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8
I have been collecting a personal collection of songs that promote “things of good report” for a little while now. Sometime last year, I forget specifically when, I was listening to a sermon on Sermon Audio (I do not recall the specific sermon) and it convicted me to take the music I listened to more seriously. My Dad has always taught my sisters and I to pay attention to the lyrics of songs and to not listen to sinful things, but I found a lot of the songs I had in possession weren’t necessarily of a Philippians 4:8 nature.
I like Country Music. It’s all American, can promote good morality, and speaks to my roots. But not all Country is like that. In fact, I would argue that a majority of it is no different than other popular secular music. I mean really, when they’re not using farm machines and tools as euphemisms for things of a sexual nature, they’re talking about drunkenness, partying,”badonadonks”, promiscuous relationships, reminiscing on their reckless and irresponsible teenage years, and proudly acting as a sinner with a little church on the side.
While the country songs and other music that I had on my mp3 were not necessarily quite that bad, the main theme to most of them was either focused on self or about “love”. As someone who is trying to be selfless and not awaken love before its time (Songs 3:5), I began to question why I had these songs and why I listened to them. I mean, really? For what reasons made these songs acceptable for me to listen to?
Were these songs glorifying the things of God or were they not? Was I listening to them to satisfy the desires of my flesh? Did I have them for the point of conformity?
With the conviction fresh in my chest after listening to the sermon, I whipped out my mp3 and cleared house. I went from over 1,000 songs to just 300. When it was all said and done, I felt that perhaps this was pleasing to God, and as a result I felt refreshed and at peace. My mp3 now mostly consisted of hymns or songs of praise, songs of good morality, or songs about a respectful kind of love.
I do like finding new music, but with this new perspective, I am finding it especially difficult to find appropriate songs to add on my collection! I mean, before I thought it was hard when I just avoided the real bad songs! You can’t even really depend on a single artist! One minute they’re sweet and innocent, the next they’re out to prove everyone that they’re not Mr./Miss Goody-Two-Shoes.
For the sake of others who may be like myself, or for parents seeking for good music for their children, I would like to share some songs that are pure, honest, lovely, and of good report. This is going to be a continual series for Written For Our Learning! I have no exact plan on when new additions to the series will be posted, but I hope to have a steady rate coming for a little while. Got some outlines forming in my noggin’!
If you would like more information on as to why we should be careful and selective with our music choices, please consider watching the Hells Bells 2 (the more recent edition) documentary, available on YouTube, and consider the Scripture. (Colossians 3:16; Ephesians 5:19-21; Romans 12:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:22)
I hope you will join me in discovering music worth listening to, and will find it to be worthy enough to add to your own collection.
“Virtue is nothing but voluntary obedience to truth.” ~ Noah Webster