Rich in Faith's Rich Wilkerson says comeback kid Justin Bieber's transformation is just as genuine as it appears.
"He's been thrown into a whirlwind that I'll never know and so I think on his journey he's always trying to figure it out," Wilkerson says in an interview with ET. "He's got a heart of gold."
Media largely praised Bieber's return to the spotlight and his transformation from arrested, drugged-out bad boy to repentant super star.
"I'm not what I was pretending to be," Bieber said in 2015. "Why I say I was 'pretending' is often we pretend to be something we're not as a cover-up of what we're truly feeling inside. And there was a lot of feelings going on in there. Just being young and growing up in this business is hard. Just growing up in general is hard."
Pre-2015, Bieber was so disheveled, his manager believed the singer could have died.
Now, Bieber says he just wants to "honestly live like Jesus."
"Not be Jesus—I could never—I don't want that to come across weird. He created a pretty awesome template of how to love people and how to be gracious and kind. If you believe it, He died for our sins.
"Sometimes when I don't feel like doing something, but I know it's right, I remember, I'm pretty sure Jesus didn't feel like going to the cross and dying so that we don't have to feel what we should have to feel," Bieber continues. "What Jesus did when He came to the cross was basically say, 'You don't have to feel any of that stuff.' We could take out all of our insecurities, we could take away all of the hurt, all the pain, all the fear, all the trauma. That doesn't need to be there."
"So all this healing that you're trying to do, it's unnecessary. We have the greatest healer of all, and His name is Jesus Christ. And He really heals. This is it. It's time that we all share our voice. Whatever you believe. Share it. I'm at a point where I'm not going to hold this in," he concludes.
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