I think that music is most effective when it intersects three crucial areas: truth, beauty and goodness. This “artistic triumvirate” has been widely discussed since ancient times. Much of the music I hear, even in the Christian music industry, tends to touch one or two of these areas, but not all three. I personally feel that failing to touch all three of these areas relegates ones music to the realm of entertainment rather than art.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with entertainment. But I think that we Christians who devote our lives to the creative arts have a unique opportunity to powerfully impact society. Music can be a very effective vehicle to express the truth of God’s word and “His goodness which endures forever.” And even purely instrumental music, without an associated text, has the possibility of bringing beauty and hope to a world that desperately needs it. I often remind myself that David played his harp for King Saul to calm his spirit (1 Samuel 16:14-23).