Monday, December 21, 2009

Popularity - A Casual Affair

Tonight is family craft night, so we decided to toss on some tunes while we were attempting to be artistic!!  I opened itunes and clicked on the 90s music icon to rock out to songs of yester year.  Soon our ears were flooded with the melodies of a band called Tonic and a song entitled Casual Affair.  One line from the chorus stuck out to me.

"It's a casual affair when everybody loves you."

My mind began to race...how true is this above statement?  I believe it may be more true than we might be willing to admit.  Popularity, everybody loving you, is a fleeting thought...a casual affair.  Pleasing people is exhausting.  You're always seeking to do something to be noticed and appreciated by those who's opinions you value.  Once you begin the process of people-pleasing, you are in constant need of having to engage in the game of one-ups-manship with yourself!!  You're constantly trying to outdo yourself and gain more credibility while attempting to maintain the certain level of "achievement" that has now become par on your life's scorecard.

I'll tell you something, being in ministry it is so easy to become swept up in this game of popularity.  When people like you, it seems to be easier to go into work and invest yourself in building community.  But, when there is conflict...well, that's a different story!  Tough conversations are inevitable, but conflict without cause is extremely frustrating and exhausting.  It's so easy in these situations to begin to play the popularity game.  You can become swept up with the desire to "win people over" with your charisma and charm.  But the larger truth that is at times overlooked is that popularity is a casual affair.  You can invest time, effort and energy into gaining that approval of people, but at the end of the day, does their opinion truly matter??  I'm learning that the answer to this question is not what I am programmed to believe.  In all honesty, what people think ultimately does NOT matter.  What does matter is what my actions say about my response to God.  Do my actions speak of obedience or disobedience?  If my actions speak of anything less than obedience, then I'm out of line...simply put.

The approval of others is a casual affair, it doesn't last.  Obedience is the only true legacy we can leave behind that points to faith be relevant and practical.

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