I was a HUGE Jonas Brothers fan back in high school (over 10 years ago now, say what?!?!) As a 17-year-old, Christian, home schooler the band of brothers appealed to me. Their unblemished reputations, the fact we were close in age, the family bond (I mean my sister and I were best friends so of course I would love a group of brothers that were the same!), catchy music, and commitment to sexual purity had me fangirling. They were a few of the young celebrities at the time that seemed to share some of my Christian convictions, and they even proudly sported purity rings. It seemed too good to be true to have celebrities be role models too. I knew the immense pressure they would face in Hollywood though. So as I grew up alongside them I watched, hoping and praying the clarity of God’s Word would outshine the influence of Hollywood in their lives.
But, the limelight blinded them.
I lost track of the brothers after they split up 6 years ago. On their own, Nick and Joe’s independent pursuits weren’t as wholesome as what the brothers had produced together. It quickly became apparent that their previous convictions to sexual purity were not taking priority as their music became riskier and the purity rings disappeared. Just another potent example of why we advocate a holistic view of purity here at Across My Heart Ministries. Purity is a lifestyle, not just a commitment and ring. If it’s not a part of your daily life it won’t stick, and along with so many others the Jonas Brothers are evidence of that.
Regardless of what the brothers had produced on their own, when I heard they were re-uniting I was hopeful that their new music would mirror their roots vs. their more recent content. The album was neither explicit or raunchy.
Their new album, Happiness Begins, and the documentary released with it, Chasing Happiness, tells the tale of the brothers finding happiness again after some tumultuous years. Reuniting, producing new hit music, and moving past their fallout. The brothers seem eager to recapture what made their good old days so good. Each brother is now married. Nick and Joe being newlyweds and Kevin celebrating 10 years of marriage as well as having two daughters. Life seems to be, at least from the outside, pretty good for the Jonas brothers. It makes sense they are happy and want to share that with the world.
AND THEN IT ENDS
Now, I can’t speak to the Jonas Brother’s personal relationships with Jesus. I can look at the externals, their shift in values, and make some assumptions, but I can’t pretend to know the absolute truth. I can however say this with certainty; if their source is anything but Jesus, when this season ends, they will be left chasing happiness…again.
It’s the story of all of us, whether we are celebrities, career women, students, or stay-at-home moms. If we are pursuing anything other than Jesus as our source, we will be left chasing. Never able to grasp what we are looking for. Never being satisfied.
The book of Ecclesiastes highlights the futility of man’s attempt to find happiness in things of this world. It is the account of King Solomon, the wisest man to ever live and one of the wealthiest, as he pursues to its end EVERYTHING under the sun meant to make a man happy: wealth, women, work, wisdom, drink, food, party…all of it. He finds it all, every single thing to be meaningless. In fact, he uses the phrase “Meaningless” dozens of times to drive the point home.
“I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” Ecclesiastes 1:14
It might seem like a depressing book, but in fact it’s rather freeing. Knowing that there is nothing in this life that can ever truly satisfy us allows us to enjoy things like wealth, beauty, success, traveling, entertainment, etc. in their rightful place. We can enjoy them and recognize they make poor sources of joy. They can’t make us happy forever because they are all conditional. Only a relationship with Jesus can provide something that satisfies beyond circumstance. Something that transcends the conditions of our situation and brings peace, joy, rest, and security even when it doesn’t make sense.
I’m hoping this is something you know and take to heart. I also hope it’s something the Jonas Brothers know or will eventually learn. A life without a relationship with Jesus as the foundation will ultimately leave us always chasing happiness never able to hold on to it.