1 Thessalonians 2:1-16; Isaiah 14-16; Psalm 113
Popularity is very important today. It’s measured with interesting statistics. Kids today look at how many friends you have on Facebook, or Instagram, or Twitter, or other social media. I found that out when my students marveled because I was “Facebook Famous” because I have “so many people” on my friends list. Obviously, I don’t know all of these friends personally. Some are close friends; some are old school mates; some are friends for political or religious reasons; some are friends from work; some are on the list because of games I used to play and some of them somehow wandered onto my list for reasons that I don’t know.
Paul understood that as important as it was to be popular, it was more important to be faithful. “For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts.” (1 Thessalonians 2:3-4) Paul realized that his responsibility when proclaiming the Gospel was to stay true to God.
Sometimes it’s easy to look at the popularity of some of the big name preachers/inspirational speakers. I see the acclaim they get. I see the money they make. I see the crowds that follow them. It’s easy to look at them and wonder what I would need to do to be like them. Then, I look at their message. Too often it seems that those who have gained popularity have softened key ideas of the gospel. They have left out parts of God’s teaching to gain favor with people, or so it seems to me.
My goal, when sharing these thoughts, is not to get a certain number of likes on each post. My goal is not to gain more friends on Facebook or followers for my blog. Those would be nice. My goal is to drive you to think more about how God is making or can make a difference in your life. The only way to do that is to stay true to God and His word and please Him. All I can hope is that He speaks to you as I share how He spoke to me.
Lord, more than being popular, I want to be found faithful. As I share how You speak to me, I pray that You would speak to others also.