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From Stuart McDonald of

Watch what you put in your ears. And I’m not talking about Q-Tips. I’m talking about music.

Each January, I, along with my church family spend the first 21 days partaking in a Daniel Fast. This year, not only am I not listening to any secular music (unless it’s randomly playing in a store I’m shopping in, which leaves me no choice, and puts me in an awkward situation) but I’m also not listening to any music, of any type, while I’m in my car. To say this has been a challenge would be an understatement; to say it’s been much needed and beneficial would be a greater understatement.

Unless I’m on the phone or having a conversation with someone, I always have music playing when I’m in the car. If I’m alone, music is on. It helps me to avoid that often uncomfortable silence. But as of late, I’ve learned to embrace that silence, let God speak to me, and just enjoy myself and all the random thoughts that go through my mind.

I’ve noticed that, during the silence, the most random, and usually highly inappropriate songs, pop into my head. It’s rarely the entire song, but the few lines I do remember are not ones I should be singing on the fast.

As an example, the other day I was at the mall with a friend, one of the stores we went into was playing Trey Songz’s “Invented Sex.” I really can’t stand the lyrics to the song, but darn it if the music isn’t catchy. As with most catchy songs or hooks, it easily got stuck in my head and took me a few hours to get it out. I tried singing other songs, but in the silence of my car, what was brought back to my remembrance? The most recent thing I had heard — Trey Songz.

Even though it’s been over a week since I last listened to any secular music, the lyrics and the melodies still float around in my head like it was yesterday. Music is powerful that way.

Be careful what you listen to and what you digest, because, as Jesus says, in Matthew 10:34, “out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” And one of the ways the heart gets full is my listening.