Faith and Justin Bieber
I’m 87% sure that you’ve heard of Justin Bieber’s new project called PURPOSE. It’s all over the Internet, and it’s safe to say that JB KILLED IT. His new sound is fantastic and I have learned to appreciate his less whiny voice. (He used to sound like my sister, kinda awkward.)
Apart from the dope music videos (check out Love Yourself — co-written with Ed Sheeran and features dancers Keone and Mari Madrid), and the LSS-inducing melodies (check out The Feeling—“Am I in love with you, or am I in loooove with the feeling”), what mainly amuses me is how Justin Bieber talks about his faith in his new songs. If you are late to the JB train, he has recently encountered God and had a great stride in his spiritual walk. He is being discipled by Ptr. Judah Smith of The City Church, and you’ll instantly get why this pastor clicks with JB once you hear him preach.
While most may be quick to judge JB, I somewhat understand (and can maybe even relate with) his story. I may not be a global superstar but just like JB, I have personal struggles that I hope and pray with all of my heart to just fade away. Yet, I have learned that you can’t expect that. As one of my friends has shared, transformation is not just a one time thing. It is a continuous process of sanctification which we can’t do on our own but only with the help of the Holy Spirit. So, to the naysayers, let us not be quick to judge. Let’s just pray for JB and other Christ-followers in the music and entertainment industry that they may be SALT and LIGHT in their area of influence. Do note though that he has openly shared that his new album is about hope and faith, and he has been very open about his faith recently. He might even be bolder in sharing his faith than most of us.
Back to his music (I got quite carried away with that last paragraph), there are two songs that you definitely need to check out to take a peek into his faith. Note: He is still not a “Christian artist” so please don’t expect these suggestions to be anything like a song from Hillsong United or Planetshakers or Kari Jobe.
Isn’t that a thing of beauty? I admit, I got teary-eyed the first time I heard the song. I don’t understand the music video that much (can somebody please explain it to me), but the mellow sound and the lyrics just spoke to me. It speaks of surrender (I put my heart into your hands / Here’s my soul to keep), relationship and connection (I let you in with all that I can / You’re not hard to reach), and just being guided to do what we are meant to do (You give me purpose everyday / You give me purpose in every way). I can only imagine what life must have been like for JB in the past when he was focused on fame and on himself, and then finally understanding the real reason for living.
And his voice clip at the end of the song? What a raw and honest expression from someone who just hopes to walk in righteousness, stumbles, yet finally understands grace.
2. LIFE WORTH LIVING
I can imagine this being my anthem for the frequent seasons of my life when I feel judged or when I’ve made a mistake and I just want to give up and depart from this world. Thank you JB for the reminder that People make mistakes / Doesn’t mean you have to give in / Life is worth living again.
I could listen to these songs (and the rest of the album) over and over again. Justin Bieber, please make more of this stuff.
(JB header photo not mine; found somewhere on the Interwebs)