Justin Bieber is another pop culture phenomenon today. He's a talented young kid that the world decided to adore. I thought I'd take a look at his lyrics and find out something about his philosophy of life. I'm not 100% sure if he writes his own songs, or lyrics, whether its his philosophy or someone else's, but this song caught my eyes as spiritually significant so I thought it would be worth commenting on.
His song "Born to Be Somebody" encapsulates the mindset of people who make it big in this world. The way we think tends to shape our destiny, and drive us to high levels of performance. I would say that the lyrics of this song reflect the thoughts of someone who is determined to make it in life, to show who they are, and to achieve happiness and satisfaction through personal success.
This is actually one of the three basic principles of this world – the other two principles being "lust", and "greed". This is the principle of the "pride of life" and it ties in closely with "selfish ambition". Let's look at this song's words:
"There's a dream in my soul,
a fire that's deep inside me.
There's a me no one knows
waiting to be set free."
These are powerful principles. Dreaming, and the use of the imagination, is one of the key ingredients in those who create things and make a difference. A burning emotion associated with your dream is another key ingredient. These are powerful principles of the mind. A Christian could and should have a dream in his soul, and a fire deep inside. But these things are not limited by any means to Christians.
"There's a me no one knows, waiting to be set free". Again this may be true of the born again Christian. The Bible teaches that we are the children of God, but the world does not recognise us as such, because it did not recognise Jesus for who He was either. And we may be someone special in God, but we are waiting to be set free from certain negative attitudes, thoughts or situations so that we can realise our potential.
These thoughts could also be applied to any person who is seeking self-actualization. The problem is that when "ME" is the focus of my life, and not Jesus Christ, then idolatry is present. The LORD GOD says "You shall have no other gods besides me". The worshiper of SELF is just as much an idolater as the man who bows down to a block of metal or rubs the belly of a Buddha in the hope of better luck for the future.
The world system teaches people that if they can only climb to the top of the pyramid or achieve some kind of goal, then they have the right to feel good about themselves and then they will be able to accept themselves fully. A true Christian however, knows he is accepted because of God's love, mercy and grace and is therefore free to serve others in a spirit of love, joy and humility. Such a person doesn't need to achieve fame, recognition or other things in order to feel they have justified their existence.
"I'm gonna see that day;
I can feel it,
I can taste it.
Change is coming my way. "
Ok, here are more principles for success. A strong belief in your future to the point where your inner senses are involved. But now we come to a part of the song that is more revealing concerning the inner motivation for such things:
"I was born to be somebody.
Ain't nothing that's ever gonna stop me.
I'll light up the sky like lightning,
I'm gonna rise above,
show 'em what I'm made of,
I was born to be somebody,
I was born to be,
and this world will belong to me. "
This all seems like the spirit of pride to me. Its the same kind of attitude that motivated Satan and caused his fall from heaven. Consider this Scripture in Isaiah 14.
12How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
13For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
14I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
15Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
Can you see the similarity between this and what Bieber is singing?
"I'm going to do this, and I'm going to do that. I will light up the sky like lightning".
Its also interesting that Jesus said concerning Satan in Luke 10:18
"I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven".
The parallels are hard to miss. It is the SAME spirit of self-exaltation that is common to both pieces here.
More from Bieber or his lyricist:
This life can kick you around,
this world can make you feel small.
They will not keep my down.
I was born to stand tall.
OK, here is more good psychology. You have to persist, you have to overcome setbacks to your self-esteem. You should get up and stand tall. All good if God is at the centre of it. But NOT GOOD if it is the expression of a proud hearted man who declares his personal strength independent of God.
Bieber also sings:
I'm goin' all the way.
I can feel it, I believe it.
I'm here, I'm here to stay.
When you are 17 you might feel that you are "here to stay". But once you have your own children, you start to become a little conscious of your own mortality. Folks, we are not "here to stay". The Bible says our life is a vapour. We are literally here today, and gone tomorrow. So any philosophy which denies this and teaches us to focus on the world is a philosophy for fools.
Now we saw it before, but there is another theme in the lyrics that keep repeating, and its the phrase "This world will belong to me".
God says "Do not love the world or the things in the world."
15Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
This song by Justin Bieber is teaching the exact opposite of what the Scripture teaches here. The root principle of this song is in fact "the pride of life", which is not of the Father, but of the world. If you love this world, you don't truly love God, at least not the GOD OF THE BIBLE.
Justin Bieber apparently aspires to be in the place where "this world belongs to him". Jesus said, on the other hand, "What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"
Folks, Justin Bieber will probably get a big slice of this world, but if he loses his soul by following the world and the love of the world, and forsaking the God of his mother, he will be a big loser like Satan. I read of him following his father into the playboy mansion – something I suppose which would feed the spirit of lust in any young teenage boy. These are the rewards of making it big in the world, owning the world, and so on.
But it is all passing away. It is all rotting. The only difference between that kind of thing and a piece of fruit is that the piece of fruit will rot more quickly. In the scale of eternity, it is all filth. Its not worth striving for. One in a million might get it like Justin Bieber has, but its a rip off. And if anyone follows the world, and teaches OTHERS to do so by word or example, especially young children, Jesus said it would be better for them to have a millstone tied around their neck and be drowned. In other words, don't envy such people, no matter what they seem to have.
God is not mocked. If you sow to please the world, the flesh and the devil, you will reap something that will not be easy to escape from. Even if Jesus saves you from it one day, unless you are truly converted and repent of these things, you will probably dive back into them one day and be lost. So don't mess with sin. I especially address all young boys and girls here. Don't imagine that you can freely follow the love of sin today and freely follow God tomorrow. Try going to a nursing home and talking with the old people there. See how few are really free to believe in Jesus from their hearts. Unless God intervenes, they will be lost in their sin.
Its far better to serve God and inherit all things in the age to come than exalt yourself in this life, "own this world" and lose your soul forever. The choice, dear one, is up to you.