Humans are social beings and worry about acceptance. Abraham Maslow ranked this, 3rd among the hierarchy of human needs in his theory. We feel happy and fulfilled when others show acceptance of our behaviours, actions and decisions and we are downcast when the opposite happens. However, Jesus in His words warned us that we must not love farther or mother more than him, to be worthy of Him (Matthew 10:37). We must prefer to please the Saviour than accept the admiration of men.
Before we made decision to be saved, we probably worried about what people would say or do because of our decision for Christ. Personally, the fear of getting at logger heads with my father, who I feared so greatly as a teenager, kept me from making decision for Christ for a long time. At a point, I made a decision to dare my earthly father for the Heavenly Father. Persecutions came and raged for so long but on the long run, I was permitted to follow my new found faith.
We must decide to follow God and not consider what the crowd would say. Consider social extremists in the world, they do not bother about what the world says about them, they throw their reputation to the air in pursuit of whatever it is they are convinced about. They do this for a course with no eternal gains. How much more should we as believers, who have the promise of a better hope and eternal bliss, stand courageously for Christ.
A story was told in history of a warrior and commander, Alexandra the Great. He once burnt the bridge that could lead his soldiers back home peradventure they would decide to run away on sighting the enemies. He made it a do or die affair in a difficult warfront for his soldiers and they had the victory. Whatever the world throws at us because we decided to follow the Lord, we must make up our mind to stand through thick and thin.
Jesus our Saviour was hailed the king as he entered Jerusalem by a crowd who later shouted ‘crucify him!’ The praise or criticism of men should not matter to us anymore. If they praise us for who we are or what we do, we need not to take it to heart lest we get bloated and fall from the grace of our Lord. If the coin turns and they criticize us for our faith, we should not be chicken -hearted and full of fear. We must still carry on, pleasing our Lord. 2Tim 2:4 said “no man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who has called him to be a soldier.”
Think of Daniel and the three Hebrew children who enjoyed promotion in a strange land by one of earth’s greatest monarch at their time. They didn’t exhibit sentiment and throw away their faith when it was time to a stand. The Lord was with them, preserved them and rewarded them greatly. Whether the world praises or reviles you for your faith, turn your back to the crowd and look unto Jesus. His grace is more than sufficient for you and me (Amen).