Fill in the word that completes the following statement:

It is ․․․․․ good to be popular.

  1. A. always

  2. B. sometimes

  3. C. never

THE correct answer is “B.” Why? Because to be popular simply means to be liked by a lot of people​—and that’s not always wrong! The Bible foretold that Christians would be “a light of the nations” and that people would be drawn to them. (Isaiah 42:6; Acts 13:47) In that sense, it can be said that Christians are popular.

Did you know?

Jesus was popular. Even as a young person, he gained “favor with God and men.” (Luke 2:52) And the Bible says that when Jesus became an adult, “great crowds followed him from Galilee and Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judea and from the other side of the Jordan.”​—Matthew 4:25.

Why was that proper?

Because Jesus wasn’t seeking glory or pursuing popularity, and he wasn’t desperate for others’ approval. Jesus simply did what was right​—a stance that sometimes brought him favorable attention. (John 8:29, 30) At the same time, Jesus realized that any approval he won from the often-fickle public would be temporary. He acknowledged that in time people would put him to death!​—Luke 9:22.

The Bottom Line:

Popularity is like wealth. Having it isn’t always wrong. The problem lies in what people do to obtain​—or maintain—​it.

Warning!

Many young people will do anything to be popular. Some are people pleasers who follow the crowd. Others are bullies who try to force people to admire them​—even if only out of fear. *

On the following pages, we will consider those two treacherous paths to popularity. Then we’ll look at a better route.

 

^ par. 12 The Bible speaks of bullies called “the Nephilim,” who are also referred to as “men of fame.” Their primary interest was in promoting their own glory.​—Genesis 6:4.