The title of “The Popular Girl” is ingrained in our adolescent social culture and in our media. We are constantly bombarded with images of a hierarchy, a social ladder we are required to climb. After high school’s over and we start to make our transition into womanhood, many of us continue to pursue popularity, although in a different way.
Buying certain things to impress people and going with the crowd are all ways many women seek out attention after high school with the hopes of an eventual seat with the cool kids.
But Jesus never sought out acceptance from ANYONE, nonetheless the “popular kids” of his day (the Pharisees), and he sure doesn’t call US to do it.
“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10)
Jesus stayed true to what He knew was right and preached the truth, even though he knew that not only would it win him zero popularity points, but that people would hate Him for it so much that they’d humiliate and then crucify Him. To be a Christian is to strive to become like Christ. And popularity was the last thing on Christ’s mind.
God never called us to be like the others, to chase popularity, or to conform to the world. He called us to just the opposite. What does the Word say about being set-apart from the world? Quite a lot.
“For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.” (Deuteronomy 7:6)
“’Thus you are to be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy; and I have set you apart from the peoples to be Mine.’” (Leviticus 20:26)
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9)
“The LORD has today declared you to be His people, a treasured possession, as He promised you, and that you should keep all His commandments; and that He will set you high above all nations which He has made, for praise, fame, and honor; and that you shall be a consecrated people to the LORD your God, as He has spoken.” (Deuteronomy 26:18–19)
“But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’” (1 Peter 1:15–16)
It’s not inherently sinful to desire to get along with peers and coworkers. It’s not a horrible thing to be want to be well-liked and admired. We all want that on some level.
But when the time comes, I pray you choose the difficult road.
When it’s time to choose between following the crowd and being unpopular, I hope you choose to be unpopular. I hope you make the difficult decision to speak truth. I hope you are willing to suffer socially just like Jesus was in order to pursue us. I hope you choose the eternal over the temporary.
“For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?” (Luke 9:25 ESV)
What good is it to have the applause of the whole world if you have to lose yourself and your relationship with God? Is it worth it? Not to me.
Of course, that’s not to say that you should be rude or cruel when speaking Truth.
That’s not Godly behavior, either. It’s not honoring to God and it doesn’t represent Him well.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”(Galatians 5:23)
“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.” (James 3:17)
But you also shouldn’t follow the crowd or water down what you know to be true just because you’re afraid of losing followers or friends. Those things are temporary. You have an entire eternity ahead of you.
Jesus didn’t call you to be a pleaser.
He didn’t call you to make friends, chase trends, zip your lip when you see injustice, compromise your values to get into that exclusive social group, or chase Instagram followers. He called you to be set apart for Him and His purposes.
He wants to use you. Will you let Him?