Faith: What is the popularity conspiracy?

Published 4:27 pm Friday, September 10, 2010

Am I now trying to win the approval of men or God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ (Galatians 1:10)
Most teenagers and many adults are involved in an enormous conspiracy. A secret mission engulfs their minds. They think about it during the day and dream about it at night. It is the quiet quest for acceptance, the secret search for significance, otherwise known as the popularity conspiracy.
Now there is absolutely nothing wrong with being popular. As a matter of fact, for much of Jesus’ ministry He was the most popular person in Palestine. Matthew 15:30 tell us that “Great crowds came to him…”
Being popular is not the problem. Being absorbed by it is. When Christian teens become consumed with popularity, their spiritual walk can be poisoned with sin.
They mutate from being God-pleasers into people-pleasers. They stop seeing themselves through the eyes of God and start measuring themselves by the mirrors of the crowds.
In the dusty pages of the Old Testament lurked a man consumed by popularity. His name was Absalom. His father was the famous King David. Deep down in the secret chambers of Absalom’s heart he seethed with jealousy for his dad’s national popularity. So he devised a plan to seize the reigns of recognition from his unknowing father. He stood at the city gates and waited for people to come to the city who desired to gain an audience with the King. When Absalom met these people he would befriend them, listen to their problems and then say ” If only I were appointed judge of the land! Then everyone who has a complaint or a case, should come to me and I would see that he gets justice” (II Samuel 15:4) As a result of his popularity quest “he stole the hearts of the men of Israel” (II Samuel 15:6). In other words, his conspiracy worked… for awhile anyway.
Are you on a secret quest for popularity? Are you like Absolom, longing to hear the applause of others? The popularity conspiracy is a dead end. It ended in the premature death of young Absalom. It will end in disillusionment for you.
Those who bow at the altar of popularity will discover that their commitment to Christ has to take a back seat to their quest to be the best in the eyes of their friends. Their fire for souls will be quenched by the sea of self-absorption.
Don’t buy the lie. The popularity conspiracy is a waste. Be a God-pleaser. Seek his applause alone.

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