We all want to be popular, but making popularity a priority can bring us to ruin. The danger of popularity is that for the world to like us, we must shape ourselves in a way that the world likes. Our words, our actions and our beliefs must become satisfying to many. God is not like the world. Jesus came to save the world, but the world hated him. Why? Because he spoke the truth. God is truth, and the truth is not popular.
There are people who live by everything but the truth. When they are asked about their situation, they give answers that hide the truth about them. In other words, they slant their words in a way that favors their argument, an argument that makes their way of life sound pleasing. And they believe that living by their own rules is where freedom lives, but truthfully, their rules keep them boxed in.
The truth will set us free. People are injured mentally, physically and spiritually. We can never fully heal ourselves with physical medicine. People live on more than bread and water alone. “I (Jesus) am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty (John 6:35). We have a spirit in us that needs to be fed as well, and our spirit will be sick if it is not fed by the living bread of Jesus Christ—by the spirit of the living God. “Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone’” (Luke 4:4).
Medicine will heal us physically, but it will never heal our level of personal satisfaction. We live to consume. We eat only knowing that we are going to eat again in a few hours. All of this eating is strange. How does it make sense?
This world is a constant reminder that people need God. We cannot sustain ourselves. We never stop consuming. We never stop searching. If we were only bodies and brains, why would we feel the need to search the heavens for life? Why would we need to feel affection? Why would we feel the need to find the answers to our existence?
Many followers of Christ enjoy science, and many of them have made a living with the practice. But they—the followers of Christ—already know the truth about life. They understand the answers to all of those questions because they know God’s Word. That doesn’t mean that they have to reject science and it doesn’t mean that they have to give up studying and experimenting, because knowing the science behind God’s truth is good, pleasurable and profitable. For them, however, understanding the truth simply means that they no longer crave acceptance. Their spirits are healthy with the word of God living in their lives, for they have been accepted by real life—the Living God. They may have a drive to discover the science behind this world, but they are at peace with who and what we are.
With the wisdom, truth and Spirit of God, our consuming needs are met. The desire to win popularity, keep up with the Jones’ and earn more than our neighbors is no longer relevant, because we no longer feel the pain of rejection. Our spirits have found the medicine of God. With Christ, we have true peace, love and happiness.
Here is an excellent side note: Christ wants his children to be popular. In fact, he’d rather see his believers be the most liked, respected and impressive people at the table, but we need to use his tools to earn that popularity. We can’t do what the world wants us to do. God will go before us and pave us a road to success, and all we have to do is be obedient. When we do what God wants us to do, we will stay on the road that he has prepared for us to meet our heart’s desire. We are not to go out and try to satisfy our desires in the same way the world does, because it doesn’t work. Understand? Jesus will make us winners by his Spirit and through his truth.