Pop singer Justin Bieber has shared a sermon clip from megachurch pastor T.D. Jakes focusing on the meaninglessness of superficial images to explain the rationale behind his recent "no pictures" policy.
"One of the things that amazes me about being well-known and it's kinda hard to get used to and I really don't like it, but I do it - everybody wants to take a picture with you," Jakes says in the 30-second clip, which Bieber on Tuesday shared with his 71.4 million Instagram followers. "And they line up to take the picture with you. See, it used to be that they wanted to know you. Now they don't want to know you, they want to be seen with you."
The Potter's House founder adds: "And they look at the image and walk away with the image, and I'm standing there thinking, 'You had a chance to meet the man, and you walked away with the image.' The image is the cheapest part of the person, but we are satisfied to live in a world of images at the expense of having reality."
Last month, Bieber came under fire after declaring in an Instagram post that he is "done taking pictures" with fans and cancelled all scheduled meet-and-greets on his Purpose World Tour, saying "I end up so drained and unhappy ... to the point of depression."
"If you happen to see me out somewhere know that I'm not gonna take a picture I'm done taking pictures," he wrote. "It has gotten to the point that people won't even say hi to me or recognize me as a human, I feel like a zoo animal, and I wanna be able to keep my sanity."
A source later told People Magazine that the 22-year-old "Sorry" singer wasn't trying to be selfish when he made the decision to scrap fan photos - he simply needed to take a break from the chaos.
"He was honest when he explained that he feels like a zoo animal," the source said. "He wants his fans to realize that he is still a person - a person who would like a little bit of respect."
In a recent interview with The Mirror, Bieber, who was famously baptized by Hillsong Church pastor Carl Lentz in 2014, opened up about the dangers of worshiping people like himself instead of the One who truly deserves praise.
"I would really suggest to people, 'Don't put your faith in me,'" he said, "Because I'm gonna disappoint you every time. Yeah. It's scary. But I want them to know that I'm not going to be able to solve their problems... I'm not that higher power. I'll never be. I'm not perfect. I've made so many mistakes. I just want to get to a place where... I just want people to know humans aren't meant to be worshiped. We're just not. So when a human is being worshiped, this is dangerous. 'Cause it does nothing but give you pride."
Although thankful he is a new creation in Christ, Bieber admits he is still a work in progress:
"There's so much I need to work on," he told The Mirror. "And I'm still getting days where I'm depressed and upset. But I know that I'm not where I used to be. So that really keeps me motivated. I'm not where I wanna be. That's kind of a cool little slogan I've been living by."