Imagine one day woke up to realize the last 25 years or so of your life was a product of all that YOU had done on your own.
In your own power, strength, ability and talent.
Imagine that every success you ever obtained was accomplished by yourself, and every failure was a self-inflicted consequence.
That sounds like reality so far.
That sounds like LIFE, and for most people, normal.
The only problem is, i’m not most people - and not because Im special. But I am a Christian, and Christians are peculiar with regard to how the Bible explains us.
Christians are not - should not be like most people.
There is a distinct marked difference in the life of the Christian. Namely they, I, do not exist in a vacuum of self. Well, certainly no one does, but Christians should be deeply aware of this.
All that I am and all that I do should be a by-product of my relationship with Jesus - a relationship that until a decade ago barley existed.
1st Corinthians 6:20 says
“you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”
Also, in Romans 8:9 the apostle Paul writes,
“You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.”
What is this telling me?
Well, its stating two important facts that scripture enforces over and over again. When I received Jesus, I became His disciple and everything I do must reflect Him.
The conflict is, all that I did prior to following Christ was a product of me, not of Jesus. I have determined that everything i’ve done prior, is pretty much worthless. Good? Fun? Meaningful? Certainly. But in standards of eternal significance, I cannot say much was sown into the kingdom of God.
So, I have endeavored to do away with my past. I thought this would be easy, but when it comes to music, this hasn’t been easy at all.
In the grand scheme Jesus has done away with my past and healed me of old wounds. But scars remain. When it comes to music and art scars run deep.
My identity, taste, preference and world view is wrapped in music and art.
I was never a fan of those youth group bon-fires that called for the destruction of music and posters and other belongings, because I think some of it was overkill.
However, at this point in my Christian walk, its plain for me to see that the music I both listen to and create has the potential to impact another person. I don’t believe there is any such thing as simply background noise - we either build up or tear down. I have determined that most of my music from the past - while written with good intention, did nothing to lift up Jesus or build people up. It was simply my bleeding heart, and for that, its not worth sharing. For that, maybe most of it should have been thrown into the bon-fire.
This is easy for me to say, but putting it to bed is much more difficult - in fact the hardest thing i’ve ever had to do was do away with my past.
My past, and probably yours is a zombie - it’s never really dead - its managed and avoided, but I think i’ll never really be separated from my past until I am one with Christ, in the next life.
That doesn’t mean i’m not living in victory. And that doesn’t mean my past has power over me. But while it looms, it has potential. Like an alcoholic who isn’t just living in sobriety, but living a life delivered should still live wisely to avoid that which once entangled, so I find with every flick of the radio and every Spotify station, I must be cautious to not be lulled.
So, what to do…my past keeps calling out, but all I can do is forge ahead with Christ, and let my past spur me on to greater works and greater things. I can live with the shadows in my past - not victimized or haunted- but simply recognizing that I was saved from my past, and should be courageous enough to recognize that the things I was saved from are not the things I should indulge in again.
So, you will find no reference to my past music accomplishments. Its out there, but not to validate me. Instead, it’s there to remind me that God is still in the business of saving.