Friday, January 24th, 2014
Egg throwing, drugs, and now speeding recklessly. How many of us have done some sort of malicious activity? Have we drank too much, or done some sort of drugs in our lives? Speeding along with some pride can end up in defensive responses to those who challenge us.
Some people have said that Justin needs to repent or he’s in serious spiritual trouble. What would repentance look like? Would it be saying he’s sorry? Or maybe it would be doing some sort of service for the less fortunate to show his remorse. These would be nice things to see because it would show that he is taking some responsibility for the things that have caused him a great inconvenience as well as could have seriously harmed someone else.
But, do these things put him outside the fold? Have we turned our backs on him? Will we withhold our attention from him. Will we refuse to let our daughters go to his next concert until he shows some sort of repentant actions?
Are we gossiping about Justin? One friend said “he will get by with this” and someone else commented, “on, no, he’s in jail”. It seems we need to see him pay some kind of cost for the heinous things he’s done. We may want to see him in that orange jump suit behind bars, maybe for a very long time.
Justin Bieber, a young nineteen year old who has climbed the ladder of fame. He came from a family history of drug and alcohol use. Maybe that’s it? He came by it naturally and now he’s saddled with a history that just may be like his own mothers. Fame mixed with alcohol is not a good combination.
But does this put Justin out of favor? Do we think that his problems will be solved if we withhold the blessing? If we turn our backs on him as he passes by will that make him realize how serious this is? Does that really work? Is removing our face from what we call sin create an environment for repentance?
What do we think God does with sin? What will God do if we get in trouble, or do something distasteful? Does God turn His back on us? Does He turn His face away from us as we walk by Him? Will He remove the blessing so as to say, “if you repent, you’ll get this back.” Is God in the shunning business for those whom He believes aren’t living right?
Frankly, I believe God does not shun us, nor does he turn His back on those who are in an unrepentant state. If He did, He’d be shunning all of us. At what point are we good enough to gain God’s favor, to have Him turn His face towards us? How much obedience do we have to muster up in order to gain His blessing?
I believe that is God’s incredible love and kindness that draws us to Him. I believe that in the midst of our worst nightmare, God is present seeking us out. It is in His grace with us when we feel the most shameful and in the most desperate places that changes us from the inside out. Grace is the transforming power.
When Christ died on the cross He said, “It is finished.” I believe that means just that, finished, done, completed. That was the price for all of our sin, past, present and future. When we realize that God didn’t turn His back on us in the midst of our deepest drunken spell, or when we just sped through a 30 MPH speed zone is when we turn are realize He really does love us and desires to be with us no matter what we’ve done, or what we’re doing.
How should we respond to the Justin Biebers of our world? Do we want to turn our backs? Do we want them to pay the price for their sins? Would it satisfy us to see them in orange jump suits so we can see them living out the consequences of their choices? We all know them, don’t we?
The conversations about Justin Bieber have been very troubling to me. One conversation I heard was, “Justin will end up in hell if he doesn’t repent and change his ways.” Really? Is the consequence for mischief, drugs, and speeding hell? Do we know his spiritual condition? Is his speeding and drug usage an indicator that he would go to hell if he died today? Wow, the narrow road to heaven is narrower than I thought! Is it our good behavior and our actions that send us to heaven or hell?
What would Justin look like if he were repentant, redeemed, restored? Would this picture of him satisfy our desire to see him the way that would satisfy our ire towards his disgusting behavior? What is it about Justin Bieber that we want to kill off? Why can we turn towards him with kindness? That person in your life that you deem unrepentant, what would kindness look like toward them?
Think about it. Do we need an attitude adjustment? Maybe we should take some time in our rooms today to think about our own lives. We need to ponder what God has really done and how much He desires to be close to us in the midst of our own lives. It would be nice if we could reflect more of God’s heart towards the Justin Biebers in our own lives.