It’s no fun to be hated. It’s no fun to be disliked. It’s no fun to have things said about you that are demeaning. It’s no fun to be thought of in a negative light.
We all want to be well thought of. We might not need to be the center of attention, but we would probably all at least desire to be liked. And since the 21st-century culture is now screaming, “Tolerance!” – nobody wants to be considered the intolerant one. We don’t prefer isolation and rejection. We all need some sense of acceptance by the public in order to feel like we are worthy or good.
Well, guess what? Being popular is overrated! Listen to what Jesus said, “Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for so did their fathers to the false prophets” (Luke 6:26). Jesus spoke plainly about overrated things. Riches are overrated (Luke 6:24). Being full is overrated (Luke 6:25). Good times are overrated (Luke 6:25). Being spoken of well by all men is overrated (Luke 6:26).
There are several reasons why being popular is overrated:
1. Not all men have faith (2 Thess. 3:2). It really doesn’t matter what men think since men are fallible. While it may matter to some degree how we are perceived because of our influence for Christ, since the majority of the world is lost (Matt. 7:13-14), being popular is probably not the way to go.
2. Popularity is a snare that leads to watered down principles (2 Tim. 4:3). I have seen many once-influential men lose their soundness when given the spotlight. Not wanting to offend anyone we often are tempted to stop standing for what God says is morally and doctrinally pure and right. It is unfortunate but often people don’t want to listen to the truth. Popularity can influence a person’s stance on things that must never be compromised.
3. Popularity seeks to please the wrong audience. Paul spoke all over the world to every kind of crowd. What was he trying to accomplish in those opportunities? He said in Galatians 1:10 – “For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.” In the end, it is really only going to matter what God thinks of us. This means whatever we say or do needs to be for His glory (Col. 3:17) – not to our own glory and certainly not to please everybody else.
If there was ever a person who knew that popularity is overrated it was Jesus. In one week, He went from being the grand marshal of a parade to being enemy number one. He went from Rabbi to reject. He went from Messiah to misfit. The same Man who was followed by the mob was also crucified by it. Because men are fickle, and their hearts are evil, and their opinions are mostly incorrect.
The Day of Judgment is going to shine on the unpopular.
“But Peter and John answered and said to them, ‘Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard’” (Acts 4:19-20).
AUTHOR: Jeremiah Tatum