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DOES POPULARITY MAKE THINGS RIGHT?
By Stan L. Caldwell

Some people desire to be popular. I’ve seen some people with the goal in life to be popular. This desire on the part of men bends them in one direction or another depending on what is popular and who they want to be popular with at the time. These people want to be “big” in the eyes of others. Therefore they are in reality declaring that they are really “small” and need to look bigger than they are. They are not content with themselves. They would never admit this but I believe it is true. Do you recall Ananias and Sapphira seeking to look “big” by their contribution? They desired to be popular with the Apostles but they died in the process (Acts 5). Do you recall Simon in Acts 8 trying to look “big” also before the brethren offering money to the Apostles so he could do miracles? Seeking popularity has ruined many a man, even when they were seeking to impress good people. It should be our desire to be popular with God. In this we see that we are small and He is great and our need is to obey Him and serve Him and gain His grace, forgiveness and mercy.

1. The fact that a thing is popular does not make it wrong. There are many things in any civilized society that make it such that are popular. It is the popular thing to pay your bills, to open a door for a lady, to say yes sir or no sir, etc. Something being popular does not make it bad. It was popular for the 3000 on Pentecost to obey the gospel and that was good.

2. The fact that a thing is popular does not make it right. There are many things that are becoming popular in our land that are wrong. There are such things as abortion, dancing, social drinking, lying under many circumstances, showing disrespect to others, nudity, immorality as premarital or extramarital sexual activity, etc. etc. These things are wrong even though they are popular in this country.
The early disciples, “went every where preaching the word”, Acts 8:4.
Aquila and Priscilla even took Apollos aside and “expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly”, Acts l8:26.

3. God’s Word makes things right or wrong. We have a standard to go by in life and that standard is the Word of God. I am for capital punishment. I’m not sure if it is popular or not. I have not seen the latest pole on such. I am not really interested in finding the popularity of capital punishment. God’s word speaks of such in Romans 13 and says the powers that be do not bear the sword in vain. They are to execute wrath upon those who do evil. God has ever required such of mankind. It is right or wrong because God has decreed it to be such, not because it is popular or not popular. So all decisions of right and wrong should be determined by God’s will.

How are you determined to judge matters?Are you bent on seeking the popular thing? Are you seeking to please a certain group to the point you lean toward them to the doing of evil or doing good because it pleases them? Our nation would be far better off seeking righteousness as revealed in God’s Word rather than seeking to know the latest survey of popular opinion. Our parents would be far better at raising their children in seeking to instill in them a love for God and the doing of His will than in seeking to be please men at all cost, whoever the men might be. Let us seek not the popular thing to do but the right thing to do that we may please God.

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