The Danger of Popularity

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So many people base their life on the pursuit of popularity. I do not believe that I have ever been popular, but as a teenager I can remember wanting to be. The desire to be liked and to have the praise of the people around us can be a strong temptation. Our young people are facing this in a way that many of us in the older generations may not understand. Not only do they face the same types of pressure we did growing up, they also have a public social media presence which allows them to receive automatic feedback from friends and strangers around the world. People’s lives are being driven by how many “Likes” they receive and how many shares and comments are made on their social media posts.

There are warnings found in the Bible about the danger of seeking the approval of men. Jesus warned His disciples, “Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets” (Luke 6:26).

The apostle Paul warns us about seeking the approval of men, “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10). If we attempt to please people in this world, we will find our actions will change and we will be led away from God.

The apostle Paul also tells us that seeking to do God’s will is what is important. Being pleasing to God, not people, should be our goal. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2). When we seek popularity from the world we will have to act like those in the world. What is more important, getting a “Like” from a stranger, or hearing from God, “Enter in good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23)?

Brad Tolbert
Monticello church of Christ
Monticello, AR

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