Like most junior and high schools in our country, the schools I attended allowed the students to vote for Student Government and leadership councils. We had to give a speech, put up signs, make promises, etc. Before the election took place we all knew who would win, the popular kid. Not the one with the best ideas, hardest workers or even the one most qualified, it was the one who looked cool; in the end it was a popularity contest. And if by chance an actual candidate that was serious about SGA got elected it was because no one more popular ran against them. Things today have not changed much; I’m not talking about high school, I’m talking about adult life. We grow up and use the same standards to evaluate those we put in leadership positions or who we admire. We want so badly to have the approval of others and be one of the popular kids that we will do anything to get noticed.
Earlier this week I learned of a new service for those who use Zoom and online group chats. Not so much a service, but a ranking. Room Rater,(https://twitter.com/ratemyskyperoom) is a Twitter account that emerged early in the COVID-19 pandemic to judge Zoom, Skype and livestream backdrops — praising some for good plant and book-shelf arrangements and dinging others for poor lighting and visible exercise equipment. Basically it’s a 0 to 10 scale of how much the user likes your backdrop. As I went through the list it looked like higher rankings were given if the person had the same social and political views as the person ranking. If not, the reviewed was used as an example of what not to do. Back to high school, people. But what I discovered was people actually took these ratings seriously. They compared and shared their scores with others. Bragged about a high score and even gave advice on how to improve scores. But the most humorous thing I discovered was an actual company that will design your background to make you appear more cultured and sophisticated. Booksbythefoot.com www.booksbythefoot.com will sell you warn books by the title, color and length to complete the look you are going for. Want to look like a European history scholar; they have a set for you. Want to put that fake poetry major to good use; pick up a set of vintage poetry books. Maybe color is your thing. Want all blue, green or red books? Buy an entire red section for shelf. Have a 3 foot empty space? Three feet of aesthetically pleasing books coming your way! It’s sad that we go to that much trouble and expense to impress people we don’t even know.
Popularity, being liked, the approval of others is something we all desire. From the time we are children we cry out, “Look at me!” It does not change as we get older, it even blurs into our spiritual walk. Paul had to deal with the subject of approval in Romans, Galatians, 1 Thessalonians, Colossians, 2 Corinthians and 2 Timothy. There is something within us that screams, “Tell me I am good enough!” The devil knows this and uses it against us. Anything that takes our attention off of who we are in Christ will do. Anything, outside of Jesus, that is used to tell ourselves “this will finally make me happy” is a win for our enemy.
Have fun with social media, but don’t get your worth from it. Engage with others, but don’t put too much stock in the opinion of people who don’t know you or who don’t have your best interest at heart. Enjoy your relationship in the Lord. Psalm 139:14 - I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
For they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God. John 12:43
Serving the Savior,
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