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What Should a Christian Musician Do?

When I taught music in college, I would occasionally encounter a Christian student with problems about how to serve God through music.  Some of the questions would be, "I want to serve God through my music, but should I quit playing secular music in bars, etc.?"  Or, "Can I be a good Christian musician and still play secular music?"  And finally, "Should I quit all types of music except religious music?"  Heavy questions to be sure.

The typical answer was that it was ok to play secular music because God hears everything and as long as you respect the talent that God had given you, you'd be safe in assuming that God would understand that your heart was in the right place and honor that.  While I still believe those words, as I grow older I have begun to rethink the question.  

Personally, I now realize that the music I treasure playing the most is almost always in a church and preferably in a worship setting.  For me, playing tunes and taking solos, while fun, doesn't satisfy any longer.  This is probably due to connecting my love for God through my music.  When I was a non-believer, I played to a lot of furniture.  In other words, there weren't many people listening.  In fact, I found that most of the music I was playing was gratuitous.  

When I accepted Christ, it seemed as if God had rearranged the notes I had been playing and made them agreeable to the listeners.  Each time I would play in a church, people would come up to me at the end of the performance to tell me that they had been sincerely moved by the music.  This came as a complete surprise to me and still does each time I now play.

I now believe that the Holy Spirit is always available to us and as I offer my music as prayer, it's no longer to please myself but to please God.  Sometimes I even imagine that Jesus is in the room listening.  I don't mean to sound pious, believe me, I'm not.  I just have found my purpose in life.  What about my playing, you might ask?  I actually feel that I am playing better now than ever and utilizing all the musical skills I have acquired over a lifetime.

So, in answer to the previous questions, I can only say, be patient and God will eventually lead you to make the correct decision.  

Blessings to all,

Chuck
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