I’m not so sure that I would recognize Justin Bieber’s voice or one of his songs if it came on the radio right now.
I really think I only knew even a little about him because my husband teaches guitar and sometimes sweet precious little preteens come in wanting to cover their favorite song.
Admittedly, I even misspelled his name just now as Beiber (shoulda remembered my i before e rule).
But whenever his name started to splash across my facebook about his arrest and his mug shot, I have to admit that I felt terrible for him.
Uhhhhhh, but January, he has, like millions of dollars. Why on earth would you feel sorry for someone who has millions of dollars???
Maybe it’s the perpetual high school teacher in me. Maybe it was Jon Acuff’s post about him yesterday. Maybe it’s just that when I look at his mug shot I see a kid… a kid.
I mean, only a kid wouldn’t know to NOT smile in a mug shot. But look at him in his profile shot. I mean, if that were your kid… he looks so… gosh, I don’t even know the word for that expression. Lost? Confused? Hurt? Terrified?
But when I read this article in The Atlantic this morning, I felt like I understood that kid in a new way. And it was just in this one sentence:
They can’t mess up.
I mean, really… think about it for a sec. Don’t you ever feel that way? feel that pressure? Have you ever told yourself, “I can’t. I just can’t mess up. I just cannot go wrong again.”
It starts to crush your soul a little bit each time you have to say it to yourself.
And then it obliterates a part of you whenever you fail yourself… again.
And you and I don’t have the paparazzi watching and photographing and videoing our every. single. move. Documenting every mess up. every slip. every time we simply just didn’t meet someone else’s standard. We don’t have exec’s whose billion dollar enterprise hangs on our every moment.
Can we even imagine that life?
So often that’s how we feel about God. We have this weird idea that He’s up in heaven just ticking away each mess up. Filing away a pic of every time we sin. Shaking His holy head and pursing His lips saying “Why should I even be surprised?”
But here’s the deal…
He’s not doing that.
God is not the paparazzi hoping that you’ll make a mistake. God isn’t even like your agent who needs you to do it all perfect so that you keep your status. God is like a perfect parent… He just wants to love you, to be with you, to help you up when you stumble, to guide you to make decisions that will help you feel at peace and content with this world.
So, even though it seems weird, we are all like Justin Bieber: we don’t WANT to mess up. we think we CAN’T mess up. but we DO mess up.
But we don’t have to respond the same way. Because our God: His plan doesn’t hinge on our actions. His salvation for us doesn’t depend upon our success. His love has nothing to do with how well we sing, dance, talk, or act.
He truly loves us just as we are.
And He loves us just as much despite all that we aren’t.