Popularity Was Not a Promise

We all want to be loved and appreciated. We all want to be treated fairly, and given the benefit of the doubt when our motives or methods are misunderstood. However, if we have chosen to be followers of Jesus, we have another reality.

Jesus told his followers, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.” (John 15:18) That is a chilling reminder that popularity was not something Christ promised any of us, even in today’s marketing savvy church world. No matter how many orphans we rescue; no matter how many widows we help; no matter how many people we dignify with basic medical care; no matter how many water wells we fund and drill for the parched populations, we will always be misunderstood or even vilified.

Have “Christians” earned some of this scorn. Most definitely. We have been angry when we should have been prayerful. We have cursed the darkness, when we should have been the light of the world and we have focused on politics when we should have been planting life giving churches. We have pointed out the failures of others while hiding the sins of our own soul. Hypocrisy and misguided zeal deserve the rebukes of our culture. For these things, we should repent and commit to being better at reflecting the Christ who guides us daily.

But, even if we get it all right and Jesus is purely reflected in our words, thoughts and deeds, we will not be popular with everyone. We have to get over the need to be adored and, instead, cherish the love of a few. Jesus got it right, every time, but we know how that ended. Instead of being aggravated, he forgave them and even took a repentant thief with him to paradise that very day.

Let our words be marinated with grace and our hearts saturated in worship. May we follow the ways of Jesus, who did not retaliate when he was falsely accused, but instead, left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly. May we love one another sincerely, serve routinely and bless others at every opportunity, without any desire for applause.

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  1. Thank you for posting this. It was very timely for me to read this blog at this very moment.

  2. David Doryland

    July 20, 2011 at 9:40 am


    Good word! Hence why one of my favorite scriptures is 2 Tim 2:3-4 “Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.”



  3. Hi Brady …

    I’d suggest a tweak to your title, “Popularity Was Not a Promise.” Why? Because popularity, in fact, WAS (and is) a Promise.

    It’s just that the popularity occurs among a population DIFFERENT than those we can be erroneously pursuing in this 3-dimensional world …

    The great news: Our “popularity” is guaranteed in “the heavenlies” (the Kingdom of God here on Earth, Heaven, … all those places where God and His People currently live 🙂

    Luk 12:8 “And I say to you, everyone who confesses Me before men, the Son of Man will confess him also before the angels of God;

    and, from the opposite perspective, …

    Mar 8:35 “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? 37 “For what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 38 “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”


    Blessings !!

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