So Justin Bieber urinated in a mop pail and hates former President Bill Clinton.
And Miley Cyrus is flaunting her adulthood and rebellious nature all over YouTube in her newest music video, if you can call it that.
While the Biebs was answering nature’s call; his “friends” videotaped the whole event, cheering him on. “You will never forget this moment.” They might as well have said “YOLO.”
Miss Hannah Montana is shedding her innocent childish image and letting everyone know that what we think of her and her actions don’t matter to her at all. “Only God can judge” her are the actual lyrics of her song, We Can’t Stop.
YOLO, you only live once. Only God can judge me.
These aren’t new ideas that the entertainment industry is just now getting a handle on. I remember in my youth singing along to the likes of Good Charlotte and Sum 41, singing the exact same words, only God can judge me, expressing my desire to do what I wanted.
But as I’m maturing, getting older, I don’t find that youthful chant as exciting or exhilarating as I once did. As I’m given to more reflection, I think we are completely ignorant to the great and terrifying truths. Truths found in the phrases YOLO and Only God can judge me.
I’m sure when the rapper, Drake, or whoever tattooed YOLO on their neck, their intention and understanding of YOLO was different than it is understood on the whole. You only live once used to be a call to live a life that was unparalleled, no regrets, no risks untaken, and no opportunity missed.
YOLO seems to be this new generation’s motto, replacing the famed “Carpe Diem.” Seize the day, make the most out of what you have, and strive for a brighter future was what children of the 80’s and 90’s chanted. It was in movies like the Dead Poet Society, and the title of a myriad of short films. It was a battle cry.
But even so, the truth in living life to the fullest and “Carpe Diem”ing is a reiteration of the words of Jesus. In the Gospel of John, Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Some translations say, have it in abundance, have it till it overflows. Jesus came to earth with a purpose; wanting to give you, bless you with a life with so much more love, joy and peace than you can completely imagine or understand. Jesus wanted you to live a life overflowing, live bigger than life, because you only live once. And He wants you to have the best one possible.
YOLO was the war cry, for Christians and non-Christians, for those who wanted more out of life. At least it used to be.
Now YOLO is the cry of fools and jokers, people trying to excuse their ignorance and disregard for others. Peeing in a mop bucket, vandalising people’s homes, butt chugging, having premarital sex, experimenting with drugs, alcohol abuse, the list of things people do goes on and on. YOLO has turned into a call to do anything and everything. If you think it, do it. Because you will die one day so you might as well do whatever you want. And damn the consequences. What does it matter?
YOLO has fallen a great deal from its high and lofty origins. It has fallen hard from the great truth that Jesus spoke to us in love.
But kids do it anyways. YOLO. I can do what I want and you can’t say anything about it. Why? Because only God can judge me. As a man that loves word play, the irony is not lost on me, but probably lost on most people.
Similar to YOLO, the statement of judgement isn’t a faith statement or a snippet about someone’s religion although it may have started that way.
Only God can judge me has become a shield used by people that don’t like being rebuked and corrected.
Rather than hearing words of wisdom and instruction, rather than listen to chastisement for one’s better, people like Miley hold to a reality where superiors, adults, elders and the like have no power and authority over her, her body, her words or actions. People like this want to do whatever they want, they are “free-willed”, and believe that there shouldn’t be anyone in power over them, no one should have the right to impose their beliefs on them.
The irony falls hard when they say “Only God can judge me.” The truth is one day their actions, their attitudes, everything, one day they will be judged. And no matter what they say, no matter what defense they use, how innocent they claim to be, they will be judged. All will be judged by an all-powerful, all present, majestic, righteous and holy God.
Psalm 50:6 says, “The heavens proclaim his righteousness, for God himself is judge.”
The Apostle Paul wrote in the book of Romans, “For all of us will stand before God’s judgment seat; since it is written in the Tanakh, ‘As I live, say the LORD, every knee will bend before me, and every tongue will publicly acknowledge God.’ So then, every one of us will have to give an account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:10-12 CJB)
All will be judged, all the Justin Biebers and YOLO proclaimers, all the Miley Cyruses and “only God can judge me” rebels, every one.
Now let me get off my self-righteous and high horse, because I’ve said YOLO in the worst way. I’ve said “only God can judge me” and rejected my authorities’ advice. I’ve done and said things that were not right. I’ve thought and wished things I would not do now. In my heart and my mind, in my action I’ve been Justin Bieber. I’ve been Miley Cyrus. Maybe not the exact same actions, but with the same heart attitude. That I’m superior and I don’t care what anyone has to say.
The first part of Romans 14:10 says, “why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For all of us will stand before God’s judgment seat…” As much as Justin and Miley are in the public eye and I’m not, everything done, in the secret or not, is seen by God and will be judged.
No exceptions, no excuses.
Paul later writes that we should examine ourselves, judge ourselves, and look at the things we are thinking and doing. Do they line up with God and his standard of Love, or do they look like an attitude of YOLO or only God can judge me?
Do they measure up to the high standards of these statements or the low ones?
How will you act?
Let me know what you think in the comments below.
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