Justin Bieber has reportedly stopped smoking marijuana after deciding to make a change in his life.
The news comes after the 20-year-old singer’s recent breakup with on-off girlfriend Selena Gomez, amid ongoing guidance from Pastor Judah Smith of Seattle’s The City Church and Pastor Carl Lentz of Hillsong NYC church. Both are longtime advisers of the Biebs.
During a recent exchange with fans on Fahlo — the app Bieber and Aussie teen star Cody Simpson used to roll out their debut duet “Home to Mama” — Justin revealed he has given up smoking weed.
On Sunday, November 16, Bieber posted an entry captioned, “Who is up early? What are you doing today?”
Replies from fans came thick and fast. After one user wrote, “What are u doin [?],” another fan quipped, “smoke weed.”
At that point, Justin interjected, writing, “I’m off that. Making a change in my life.”
Shortly afterwards, the “Confident” hitmaker posted (then quickly deleted) an Instagram pic which seems to confirm the singer’s commitment to the healthy change.
The following selfie was captioned, “One day at a time.”
While it’s not known how long the Canadian has been marijuana-free, the singer’s weed habit was first exposed in January 2013, after TMZ published pictures of Justin smoking what appeared to be a blunt in a Newport Beach hotel room with friends including rappers Lil Twist and Lil Za — real names, Christopher Moore and Xavier Smith, respectively.
Although Bieber went on to apologize for his indiscretion in a skit on Saturday Night Live, which he hosted one month later, the singer continued smoking marijuana as a toxicology report showed, after his January 23, 2014, arrest in Miami Beach on suspicion of DUI.
The report revealed the presence of the active ingredient in marijuana and the anti-anxiety drug Xanax in Bieber’s system at the time of arrest. No trace of opiates were found, which negated tabloid claims of sizzurp use.
Further legal woes followed, including a misdemeanor vandalism charge for egging his ex-neighbor’s house in January. Last week, an Argentine judge issued Bieber with a 60-day deadline court summons to appear in Buenos Aires to answer questions about an alleged assault of a paparazzo by one of his bodyguards in Argentina last November.
However, since the heartthrob’s breakup with Gomez after their Paris Fashion Week trip in September, Bieber has embarked on a religious intensive involving numerous church visits to Hillsong NYC and a bible study meet with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The singer reportedly stayed with Lentz’s family in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, over the past two weeks.
Bieber’s choice to drop marijuana from his life may be a response to his split with Gomez and continued guidance from the pastors.
Dubbed the “Hipster Pastor” because of his numerous tattoos, Mohawk haircut, and trendy clothes, Lentz founded Hillsong NYC in October 2010 with Joel Houston, as an offshoot of the Pentecostal Hillsong megachurch in Sydney, Australia.
“I’m going to pray for this boy to make it,” Lentz recently told the New York Post he vowed when he first met the then 14-year-old Bieber at a New Jersey concert in 2008, after Smith introduced them.
“I have a special role in Justin’s life, spiritually, but… I’m not a life-motivational guy,” added Lentz, “We’re talking about making sure his life remains a blessing, not a burden.”
At the end of October, Lentz and Bieber were spotted in Glen Ridge, the bordering town of Montclair and the Manhattan Center, where Lentz leads six services on Sundays. The duo were also seen at basketball games.
Here's a photo of @justinbieber at my kids' school today. pic.twitter.com/aQmmcGBl0E via @biebbodyguards
— Charles Ornstein (@charlesornstein) October 28, 2014
Bieber with models Kendall Jenner and Hailey Baldwin at Hillsong NYC on November 9.
Justin Bieber and Kendall Jenner at hillsong tonight pic.twitter.com/MxFHyLwMY3
— Josh (@Josh3Estrada7) November 10, 2014
Of his famous student, Lentz told the Post, “When he’s with me, he rolls with me. He’s like a member of our team… He fits in like a piece of furniture.”
Urging compassion for the singer’s struggles, the 36-year-old added, “He’s on a journey. If he’s not doing good, should we abandon him?”
TMZ previously reported Lentz baptized Bieber in a bathtub earlier this year when the star was allegedly being extorted over old footage of him saying the N-word. Justin previously tweeted that he “broke down” during one of Lentz’s services last September.
Meanwhile, mutual pal, NBA star Kevin Durant, who worships at Hillsong NYC, said of the pair’s friendship,
“He’s [Lentz] not expecting anybody to be perfect, and that’s what draws people in.”
Durant added, “[You] can just feel the love that [Lentz] has for Justin.”
Bieber’s apparent decision to quit weed is in line with some of his recent Instagram posts, one of which shows him writing in an journal.
It was captioned, “The old is gone the new is here.”
The line is taken from 2 Corinthians 5:17 in the Bible: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come — The old has gone, the new is here.”
Daily Mail Online reports a bible reference site explains that the “old” indicates attitudes of the personality which are replaced with “new things, full of life and the glory of God.”
“The newborn soul delights in the things of God and abhors the things of the world and the flesh.”
Behind the headlines, it seems Bieber is turning his life around.