Yolanda Adams, Smokie Norful and Mercy Me were the first Christian artists whose CDs I owned. Their music was a part of my daily routine. Before I even brushed my teeth in the morning, I would pop in one of their CDs and unapologetically sing along. It didn’t matter that I was off key. Whenever I left the house, I’d packed them in my CD case, along with all my other music too. They were part of my road trip jams.
One day when a friend was riding in the car with me, he noticed that I had one case for all of my CDs. Appalled, he asked, “Do you keep your Christian music and secular music in the same CD case?” From his tone, I knew I had the wrong answer, but I proceeded anyway. “Yes, I do”, I replied. He reprimanded me for allowing the Christian music to be housed with the secular music.
Since, I’d only been serious about Christianity for a few months and he’d been active in a church for most of his life, I figured he knew what was acceptable and what was not. In other words, he knew the rules and I didn’t.
My friend’s comments weighed on me for several days. “What will happen if I don’t separate the CDs?”, I constantly wondered. That is, until I realized I didn’t have another CD case and I wasn’t going to buy another one. I asked God to forgive me if I was committing a sin and I moved on. Until this day, I have never separated my CDs. Over the years, I’ve been corrected by God for many things, but that has never been one of them.
In the beginning, it was those kinds of rules that made Christianity unattractive to me. All of the do’s and don’ts, I heard from people, made God seem like a prison warden. It was a big turn off! But once I began to learn about God for myself, I experienced His never-ending love and I quickly realized it was people’s do’s and don’ts that threatened to imprison me.
Don’t get me wrong, following Jesus prompted me to put some necessary boundaries in place, but my relationship with Him has never been stuffy nor strict. On the contrary; it’s a relationship that’s personal, flexible and full of grace. It’s a relationship that has allowed me to freely live outside the box!
(Please, let me give this one disclaimer: If you do feel convicted about mixing your Christian and secular music, you should keep them separate. Always do what God leads you to do; not man).
You were bought for a price. Don’t become anyone’s slaves.
1 Corinthians 7:23 God’s Word Translation