The desire for approval can produce strange actions. Among teens, some mock others; those mocked may rebel or even become violent. But young people aren’t the only ones who long to be accepted. But how far should we go to be liked by others?
We are told that Jesus increased in… favor with God and men” (Luke 2:52) through His formative years. During His public ministry multitudes of people often followed Him.
However, the Lord cautioned “Woe to you when all men speak well of you…” (Luke 6:26). As the Lord spoke more of the truth, opposition to Him grew. And Moses had warned not to “follow a multitude in doing evil…” (Exodus 23:2).
The truth of God’s will is often the dividing line between popularity and rejection. Jesus is a stumbling block to those who reject truth; He is precious indeed to truth-seekers!
So which do we want most – the acceptance by God or by other people? We read in John 12 of some who wouldn’t acknowledge their faith in Jesus because “they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God” (verses 42-43). Remember, God is righteous and loves us perfectly and wants us to dwell with Him eternally!