Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Popularity Game

True leadership is hard to find in the game of popularity these days. There is no place where this is truer than in the Church. In the age of celebrity leaders, where people get what they want, it is difficult for true leaders to make the hard decisions, to stand by the Word of God. But this is not as new a phenomena as you might think.

King Saul had received specific instructions from Yahweh concerning the destruction of a certain people. But instead of obeying those instructions King Saul chose to please his army. When he was called out on it his reply was quite telling:

“I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice." (1 Samuel 15:24)

Saul asked for forgiveness but something about his heart was not right. Perhaps it was only lip service. This was the result of the popularity game:

“I will not return with you, for you have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel.” (v. 26)

It doesn't matter how unpopular the truth is, we cannot operate outside of it. This is true as a pastor, parent, neighbour or friend. We have received clear instructions and cannot use popularity as an excuse for doing our own thing. Decide if you are a servant-leader of the Lord Jesus Christ and avoid the popularity game by standing with his truth regardless of the cost. That is what he expects of us; that is what he has called us to do.