It’s hard and exhausting when you try to get everyone to like you and to always feel as though you must fit in. Imagine going back to your middle and high school days and actually truly not caring much how popular you were or how many people liked you. No matter where you may have stacked up in the popularity scale, who didn’t actually want to be more well-liked? That’s just human nature.
The good news is that everyone is at least slightly more mature in adulthood, and the daily battle of trying to “fit in” is not quite what it once was. However, it would simply be wrong to say we still aren’t affected by this desire. We want to fit in with our coworkers, we want to be respected by our friends, we want more followers on Twitter, etc. You would be lying if you said you absolutely did not care about such things, I know I would.
One of that great things about following Jesus is the freedom from so many things that can enslave us in this world. As the apostle Paul wrote, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)
One of these freedoms is from constantly having to gain everyone else’s approval. The thing that I have found to be so wonderfully true about the desire to be liked is this:
The more I care about following Jesus, the less I care about impressing others.
Don’t get me wrong, there are times where I want, and sometimes do, say and do the necessary things in order to better fit in in certain situations. This usually happens when my pride comes before my desire to honor Christ. But when my goal is not the approval of people but rather the approval of God, the stress and worry of “being cool” becomes refreshingly non-existent.
How freeing it is to follow Jesus.