Justin Timberlake

by Adam Holz

If you saw Justin Timberlake perform at the Super Bowl, you might have some questions about his music.

Justin presents himself as a nice guy. He does funny skits with late-night host Jimmy Fallon that get millions of views on YouTube. Last year, he sang and voiced the lead character in the animated movie Trolls. He’s charming, talented and articulate, the kind of person it seems fun to hang out with.

Unfortunately, if you hang out with his music, you’re going to hear a lot of troublesome lyrics. On his new single “Filthy,” Timberlake brags, “This ain’t the clean version.” And it’s not. Justin’s music videos are filled with inappropriate images. He often focuses on the physical side of romantic relationships. Some bad language shows up, too.

Even some of his “better” songs send mixed messages. “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” from the Trolls soundtrack, says, “I don’t need no reason, don’t need no control.” But living wisely does take self-control. The song suggests that life is a nonstop dance party. That what matters most is feeling good all the time. The truth is, sometimes we have to manage bad feelings, too. Life’s not always a party.

For those reasons, take a pass on Justin Timberlake. If you’re looking for fun alternatives, check out TobyMac. His albums major in God-honoring themes and catchy beats.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.” —2 Timothy 1:7

It’s hard to make good choices when it comes to entertainment. So many different shows, movies, video games and websites try to grab our attention. Paul makes an interesting promise in 2 Timothy. He says that, when we grow in our relationship with God, we receive “sound judgment”—the ability to make decisions that honor Him.

When we spend time in God’s Word, in prayer, in worship and with other Christians, the Holy Spirit gradually shapes our hearts and minds. He helps us value what our heavenly Father values. It’s kind of like a muscle that gets stronger as you exercise. Focusing on godly things will teach us how to recognize “filthy” things in the future and stay on the right path.

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