My mom had been trying to get me to listen to this Kirk Franklin’s song called “Wanna Be Happy?” for a while. Honestly, I wasn’t interested in her suggestion. The thing is that I had suffered from depression for far too many years, and I was in a situation that my mom felt the lyrics to that song would help prompt me to get out of. Apparently, she believed that I needed to “get out of my own way” as per the song lyrics. I had actually heard this song dozens of times, but one day I actually LISTENED to the words. I began to feel them as deeply as I had once felt Lil’ Kim’s flow. That’s when I started paying closer attention to lyrics and appreciating the value of beneficial words even more than the music or the artist.
I’ve personally had to put a filter on what I allow myself to listen to. Music has a way of reaching your heart and can affect your mood, your viewpoint, and how you treat people.Pastor Freddie Cole
I’m in no way judging anyone else’s choice of music or genres. Right now, I’m just giving an account of what happened to me. I’m sharing my own experience on how I changed what I decided to hear and speak. Instead of claiming to be a ‘good kisser’ and ‘saucy’, I started declaring all day that I am victorious and blessed & highly favored. I started looking for the right affirmations in the song lyrics that I quoted. This helped to bring about a dramatic mind-set and lifestyle change in me. Let me be clear by saying that gospel music is not the only music genre that features positive and inspirational lyrics. What I am saying is that I had to understand that there is difference between junk food and healthy food for my heart and mind – then choose accordingly.
Junk food tastes good no doubt. It’s no wonder why we struggle with continuing to eat it even though it has no real benefit to health or nutritional value. As a matter of fact, dentists and doctors alike will advise against most junk food. Knowing that, we still over-indulge in many of the examples crossed over by a big red X in the illustration hanging on the dental examine room wall. Meanwhile organic food may cost more, but most will agree that it’s a lot healthier than the chips, candy and soda that we tend to gravitate towards. The same is true for the ingredients we choose to feed our spirit. Our spirit is no less important than tooth decay or the risk of diabetes. Some dietary changes are necessary for healthy spirit living.
Any diet takes dedication, discipline, and determination. Just so that we’re on the same page, I want to define each one of those words here. Dedication is what usually causes us to start a thing. Devoting our mind and our heart to the importance and purpose of a set goal. Like how we are dedicated to new year’s resolutions. Then it takes discipline to be firm in adherence to the rules. This is what it takes to make sure that during temptation and moments of weakness we continue to stay within our preset guidelines – staying away from certain foods and increasing the consumption of others. Determination is what it takes to stay the course and finish the thing out! It’s when it takes everything in you to push forward and not throw in the towel no matter how far away the end goal may be.
Translating that to a spiritual diet is the same. I was sick and tired of my spirit being sick and tired. It took dedication to commit to the cause of spiritual health. First, I became devoted to changing what my spirit consumed. As with any diet, there had to be a whole lifestyle adjustment. I couldn’t just order the same items off of the menu. I had to discipline myself. My rule was to pay close attention to lyrics and to make sure that I did not repeat anything that would be potentially harmful to the purpose. When you start seeing and feeling physical change in your body, it gives you the extra motivation that you need to stay the course. As soon as I experienced the first little bit of spiritual health due to changing the music that I ingested, I was determined to follow through with it.
Junk food is junk food. Whether you are at risk for obesity or not. You can look perfectly healthy, but junk food still has a negative affect on your body. I know that I keep switching back and forth from food to music, but essentially our spirit gets nourishment just the same. You may not see the affect that repeating negative lyrics have over your life until you end up in the hospital. This is your well check visit. I pray that you leave with the resolve of listening to the suggestions made by the doctor.
The Diet Testimonial
I thank God for my friend stopping me that day in the parking lot to tell me to change my radio station. Natural Jakeetta wants to say that it was pure chance. In actuality, it was doctor’s orders. Lord knows I was practically on my death bed. I’m glad that I decided to follow those orders and change my diet. Since then, I have experienced an increase in mental health wellness, heart transformation, and spiritual growth. The old saying goes “You are what you eat.” Therefore, I highly recommend watching what you “eat” and putting your spirit on a lyrical diet.