Popularity is a demanding Mistress. One who is never satisfied. A fickle Goddess who devours identities and robs freedom of self. The cost of pleasing her quite often means selling yourself to her highest bidder. William Shakespeare wrote, “To Thine own self-be true.” I believe he was warning society to be cautious of Popularity’s subtle lies and empty promises. Her victims, the ones whom she preys on most, are the “people-pleasers,” and in all honesty, I must confess to being one of them. I want everyone to like me. A new friend request on Facebook makes my heart sing. A new follower on Tweeter makes my ego soar! The question is, “What are we willing to pay for such popularity?” Are we staying true to ourselves, or have we sacrificed our integrity?
We step in and out of these vanity traps every day of our lives. The first obstacle is right at our fingertips. Before reading the morning news, most of us have already logged in to our social sites. The number of friends and followers plays havoc with our minds, so much so that we have the ability to add thousands, by simply downloading free apps. Free? I don’t think so. The cost is a heavy one, sacrificing our most beautiful qualities. Those God-Given gifts that were perfectly designed to bring honour and glory to His Name. In purposely drawing attention to ourselves, we no longer reflect Christ at work in our lives.
“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleaser rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.” 2 Timothy 3:1-5.
The Apostle Paul recognized the trappings of popularity. He asked himself, “Am I trying to get people to think well of me? Or do I want God to think well of me? Am I trying to please people? If I were, I would not be serving Christ.” Galatians 1:10.
Popularity. The cost of pleasing her quite often means selling yourself to the highest bidder. When she grows tired of using you, and she will, the only thing left will be a mere shadow of your original self.