The Cost of Popularity
“For they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.”
Stepping outside my comfort zone, I’m going to make this personal. From an old man to my younger Christian friends.
When I was in High School (mid-1960’s), I was popular. In those days you became popular in one of three ways: (1) Star Athlete. No. Not me. (2) Strikingly Handsome. No. (3) The Class Clown. That’s what I was. I made people laugh. Even if it meant crossing some boundaries, taking some risks and going against what I knew was proper, I loved to make people laugh. I was good at it. And I reached the highest symbol of popularity. I briefly dated the head cheerleader.
The life of High School popularity felt good. I was well-liked. During this time, I was a Christian. I attended churche services faithfully and everybody there thought I was a fine young man.
I had the best of two worlds. My peers thought I was great. And the brethren thought I was great.
Yet, this “greatness” had a price. It nagged at me, that my ambition for popularity did not fit my profession of faith in Christ. I could not engage in serious personal evangelism. Getting people to take me seriously about anything was tough. I was the class clown, therefore not a good representative of Christ.
I was accepted by my brethren and my peers, but there had to be compromise. That compromise nagged at me. I knew I couldn’t spend the rest of my life seeking favor with everyone. After High School, wisdom was chosen and spiritual maturity took me to a better, spiritually healthy place.
To teenagers and young people – Be friendly as the Bible defines kindness and goodness; if that isn’t sufficient to attract friends, don’t move from healthy friendliness over to compromise. It will plant a thorn in your conscience. The longer that thorn remains, the harder to remove it. Seek His glory above all other relationships. You cannot afford the cost of popularity.