Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Justin & Jesus

It's March 1st! I know that actual warm weather may still be a few weeks off but the fact that it's finally March means spring is getting closer!! This makes me deliriously happy.

And apparently it's Justin Bieber's birthday today. I only know this because of Twitter and Facebook. Now I'm no stranger to teen pop star mania (though when I was in high school it was a boy band named New Kids on the Block that girls in a frenzy - literally), but Justin Bieber is everywhere!

Justin turned 17 this year. An age where teens are usually finishing up their junior years, moving towards graduation, making plans and having fun with friends. Justin spends his time with millions of screaming fans, surrounded by an entourage and vacationing with his older girlfriend. It's such an alternate world. And I can't help but wonder about the different reception Justin Bieber would get vs. the reception that Jesus would get.

Jesus was followed around by crowds, too. I'm reading through the Gospel of Mark right now and it mentions on multiple occasions that the "crowds pressed in" on Him. Desperate, hurting people. Many of them sick, looking for a miracle. Jesus called them "sheep without a shepherd" and He had compassion on them. People seek out what they need, and the people in Jesus' day recognized that Jesus had something that they lacked. So they pursued Him. He healed many people, set them free from demons and taught them God's ways through stories. Jesus had words of life and he freely gave to those that sought the truth.

Justin Bieber does claim to be a Christian. I can only hope that he really means what he says. And that he stays the course. But I think I'm a bit more concerned about his legions of fans. All of the swooning. All of the ... idol worship. I realize that most of his fans are young...Beliebers. But no matter what our age, we are told:

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. (Proverbs 4;23)

There's nothing wrong with liking his music, even admiring him as an "artist" or an individual - but your heart? Your worship? That should belong to God alone. So next time you react to a Bieber sighting, think about it - do you react that way when you spend time with God?

And for those of you beyond the Bieber years:-) There are many other things that begin to vie for our worship - maybe a guy? Maybe a job? Maybe a dream?

To whom does your heart truly belong?


Sarah Anne Sumpolec is a speaker, writes teen fiction, including the Becoming Beka series, blogs at her website: a naked faith and can be found on twitter as well.


Ms. Blasé said...

Wow! I never thought me and the Biebs had anything in common, but lo and behold, we're both March babies!

Being a single 30+ year-old woman, the only thing that vies for my worship is this: writing. I love writing... and I allow it to steal so much of my day, from my time with God, to time I should be sleeping, to time (like right now) I'm supposed to be giving to my boss. It really has gotten out of control and I would readily admit that I'm, for lack of a better word, addicted.

Writing would DEFINITELY be my dream job, but until God permits it to be so, I have to learn discipline... which I struggle with on a daily basis :(

Emii said...

What a great post, Sarah. I mean, Belieber? It's a great name -- really creative, haha. But I guess what your saying is that we have to choose -- Belieber or Believer? ;)

I like Justin. He's a good guy. I don't think I'd be able to be famous... the world would be shoving their opinions down my throat. I can hardly handle classmate's judging me.

I thought of this yesterday when I was struggling with people not accepting me because I'm "too quiet, and hardly talk."

"I want to grow in the ways Jesus wants me to grow.
Not in ways the world wants me to grow."


Sarah Anne Sumpolec said...

Ms. Blase - thanks for chiming in! Yes, discipline can be hard to institute no matter what are of life it's in. (speaking from my own lack of discipline!)

And Emii - I love the beauty and vulnerability of your comments. You might not be appreciated by your classmates as you should be - but your beauty shines through - and God will bring along people in your life that will appreciate that gentle spirit:-)

(And I can't take credit for "Belieber" - the teens in my stage combat class introduced me to the term:-)

Anonymous said...

Justin Beiber said that he is a Christian. Maybe he not perfect, but I do believe he's a Christian based on a couple of things I've read about him, and the song he sings, called "pray", is really pretty. As a church, we should encourage him to come closer to the Lord, and see him as our brother. The Lord knows no difference between famous and not, and hopefully he comes close to God and can acknowledge things in his life that are not up to par to the Word of God, and change them. We shouldn't stand afar as people struggle to understand the ways of the Lord, but lift them up in prayer and witness, yes, even to our brothers and sisters.