We are easily drawn by the opinions and praises of others. So influenced are we, that we are often pulled to the same likes and dislikes, as well as the same behaviors as others so that we will not seem to be “out-of-step” with the conventional wisdom of the day. At first glance it is a small thing, but it is an anchor that often drowns its victims.
Jesus encouraged his disenfranchised listeners (Matthew 5-7) to not be swayed by the pressures of the religious mob actions around them. He told them: “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:10-12).
So short-sighted is the vision of the momentary mob that a look back from years in the future easily reveals the ridiculous. While not the only example available, we really need look no farther back than the 1938 short list for the Nobel Peace Prize. None other than Adolf Hitler made that list. At the moment it must have looked like a good idea, but from this vantage point everyone must be asking: “What were they thinking?”
Like the Apostle Paul, we must not be sidetracked by popular opinion when our life goal is to be God’s servant: “But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God” (1 Corinthians 4:3-5).
Being “ALL IN” as God’s person can be lonely… if we forget that Jesus assured us that He will be with us always, to the end. Do not grow weary in well doing.
What is it that discourages and distracts you?