Most of us like to be liked. It is amazing the length to which some people will go in order to be liked. The desire to be accepted is in itself not bad. But it can become our main focus. And whenever anything by Christ becomes our main focus, we become lopsided.
Most people probably have a generally healthy balance of wanting to be liked, and also understanding that they can't be liked by everyone. But some people, and I would say a growing number of people are willing to go overboard in order to be liked by as many people as possible. This has been fueled by reality TV shows that elevate the value of making viewers happy in order to remain on the show. It is also encouraged by social media where the number of friends you have, the number of LIKES your posts get, and the number of views your video receives are marks that reflect your popularity.
We are enamored with the approval of others. This causes people to live towards that. They will change how they dress, how they talk, what they do, etc., simply to be more widely accepted or thought of as cool. We often see this with teenagers, but today we see it more with adults. And it even creeps into the Church.
But we weren't meant to live towards the approval of others. We were meant to live to the approval of God. In fact, you can't make everyone happy. Even without God's standard of holiness, it is impossible to gain the approval of everyone. This is true in everyday life, and also in ministry. Here's on thing the apostle Paul had to say on the issue...
"We were emboldened by our God to speak the gospel of God to you in spite of great opposition. For our exhortation didn’t come from error or impurity or an intent to deceive. Instead, just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please men, but rather God, who examines our hearts. For we never used flattering speech, as you know, or had greedy motives—God is our witness— and we didn’t seek glory from people, either from you or from others." (1 Thessalonians 2:2-6)
Being true to God is more important than having a viral video or the most friends of anyone on Facebook. Christ doesn't need everyone to think you are cool, or brilliant, or the bomb. You can't seek the approval of everyone without it changing the core of who you are. Even Christ Himself purposely said things that He knew would send many people away from His ministry who were only there to be part of the "Jesus-following" phenomenon. People left Him in droves. It wasn't that He didn't care about people. But He cared more about being true to His mission.
We weren't made to be famous. We can't handle being the center of anyone's universe... even our own. Being a professional 'man pleaser' will cost you everything even as it promises the world. You will have to sacrifice yourself whether you are seeking the approval of other people or God. There is no approval that will not require you to give yourself up. So choose wisely. The approval of man will leave you empty, and cause your sacrifice to torment you. The approval of God will renew you, giving you more life than you had before you made the sacrifice.
Today you will have the opportunity to gain more attention, applause, and accolades. There's nothing wrong with these things in their proper place. But just make sure they aren't gained at the cost of what matters most... that we are seeking Christ first and His righteousness. At the end of the Day, it won't matter how many people think you are all that and a bag of chips. Without a life lived well for Jesus. you will simply be left holding the bag. Live for Christ and let Him add to your life the attention you need. God knows your heart. Might as well give it all to Him.
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My name is David, and I want to know God more, and help other people find Him.