Popularity Is Overrated

In every decade and every era of American culture in the last 100 years, there has been one group that has remained constant : The Popular.  While the criteria for popularity changes everyday, there is not a person reading this blog who couldn’t name the popular people of their day.

I recently had a conversation with some friends that had us cruising down memory lane. One of my friends knew, beyond a shadow of doubt, that he was popular in high school; while my other friend never characterized herself as such. She stated emphatically, that she would have never considered herself popular, yet they had all the same friends and hung out with the same people. She even admits that after returning to town, she sees people at the grocery store that know her by name, yet she has no clue who they are. Now I’m in no way speaking for her, but if she ever wanted to be popular, or if she saw other people on a higher bracket of status, she was already there but never knew it. This lends me to believe that popularity is overrated.

Sure … it is nice to walk into a random room and have people recognize you. And yes, it is quite nice to receive favor just because someone “knows” you. I will admit, popularity has its perks. Having a crowd that knows your name is cool, but being known is not the same as being loved, honored or respected. Whenever people put their stock and worth in their popularity, they will quickly find themselves very lonely. The very people who know your name, or remember you from “back in the day”, won’t be the ones you can call on in a crisis. Being popular doesn’t even guarantee success, nor does it automatically mean that the people who “know” you will support you. There will always be more people who speak well of you, than those who have actually your back.

Jesus teaches us this principle in Luke chapter 6, when He says “Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man. Be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven. For in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets. (verses 22-23, New American Standard Bible)”

He goes on to say “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets (verse 26).” In other words, people are easily blinded by the will of the crowds, and we will follow and speak well of others that don’t even have any true substance. But instead of ranking people based on status, Jesus encourages us to show love to everyone without partiality. This is true humility; and humility will always carry more value than popularity.

“For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?” (Luke 9:25, New American Standard Bible)

© 2014 Team Murph Publishing/DJoaquin Publishing, All Rights Reserved

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