Singer Justin Bieber in a new interview credits his Christian faith for saving him from self-destruction, saying he’s “grateful” to have friends in his life who live for Jesus.
Bieber, who recently released a new album, Changes, told Apple Music's Zane Lowe his faith saved him from darkness and transformed the way he views life.
“I was just living in this shame, living in all this sort of stuff in my past and I wasn't able to move on,” he said. “... [Now] the way I look at my relationship with God and with Jesus is I'm not trying to earn God's love by doing good things. God has already loved me for who I am, before I did anything to earn and deserve it. It's a free gift by accepting Jesus and just giving your life to Him.
“And what He did is the gift – the forgiveness is the thing that we look at and, you know, ‘I'm going to worship You, God, because You gave me something so good.’ And so you live that life of like, ‘I don't want to cheat on my wife, not because it's the right thing to do but because I don't want to hurt her.’ See the difference there?"
Asked by Lowe if he “was on a path of self-destruction” without Christ, Bieber said he was.
“Oh, for sure. Yeah, for sure, 100 percent. Yeah. 100 percent,” a pensive Bieber answered. “It would have been – it was bad. … I don't know if I'd be alive for sure. It was dark, really dark. So I’m very grateful to have influences in my life that have played a huge part in me seeing their relationship with Jesus, and their relationship with their wives, and their relationship with their kids, and saying, ‘That’s what I want.’ [I’m] striving after that.”
Previously, he said, “I had really bad examples of Christians in my life, who would say one thing and do another. They were my direct example of who Jesus was.”
His faith began growing when “I really just looked at the character of who Jesus really was.”
Jesus, Bieber said, “found me in my dirt and pulled me out.”
“I want to definitely tell my story so that if that resonates to anybody, they can hopefully learn from it,” he said.
Bieber married model Hailey Baldwin in 2018. He told Lowe she’s “the best wife in the world.” Changes, he said, was inspired by her.
“She supports me through so much. I'm really honored to be her husband. … This is an album I wrote in the first year of our marriage, so it's so fresh,” he said. “There's so much more to learn about commitment, and building trust, and foundation. I'm looking forward to continuing to build and make music that's going to reflect that.”
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Jon Kopaloff/Stringer
Video courtesy: Justin Bieber
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, The Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.