Some time ago, when I was in high school, I had just been transferred from my old school to a new school. There was this game we played where you were challenged to throw shades at an opponent, and the person who could silence his opponent won the game. By the way, these shades were not always the nicest things said to each other. They were mostly dirty, insulting, and abusive. Coming from my old school where this was normal, I was good at it and I made it known in my new school.
One day, one of my classmates was challenged and heavily defeated. Another one followed and was defeated, and then they all came to call me ‘their supposed champion’. As they came, they were shouting my name and praised me to come and trash the other guy, and it was a great feeling. As I was about to stand up, one of my Christian classmates held me and said, “Don’t go; you should not be engaged in this kind of game.” He tried to get me not to do it, but I was carried away by the praise of the other guys, I wondered, how would I let the crowd down without considering who else I was letting down by doing it. I had a choice to make, Whose voice was I going to listen to?
My Christian friend followed me all the way from my class to the school field, the location of the challenge, trying to get me to stop, but as he tried, the praise and shouting got louder, drowning his voice. Finally, I got to the field, and I went right in and threw my shots. As soon as I started, my friend gave me a very disappointing look that pierced me. He shook his head, turned around, and left. Of course, as the champion that I was, I won the battle, but that look never left me, even today, I can still remember that look. That was the last time I ever engaged in that challenge. Though I won that challenge, I failed woefully in the eyes of whom it matted to the most.
Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.John 12:42-43 NKJV
The rulers who believed in Jesus but did not confess Him represent a lot of us today. That side of us that knows the truth but chooses to ignore it because of the fear or praise of men. That side of us that wants to be in the majority. That side of us that does not want to be looked at as wired. That side of us that says, “If you can’t beat them, join them.” That side of us that loves and gets carried away by the praise of men, that we lose our minds and do the unthinkable. That side of us that tilts more towards our Adamic nature. That side of us that honours men because of what we can get from them, but dishonour God.
And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.Matthew 10:28
The world today needs more people who will not be ashamed to stand against the praise of men but rather be filled with the desire to get the praise of God. We need to like Paul, say, “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. “(Galatians 1:10 NIV).
I have realized that if you are really going to follow Christ, in the straight and narrow path, you would never please man, because the way of the Lord is foolishness to them who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God. So, to the world, you will always be foolish, unwise, archaic, and unreasonable. We will be faced with “My Truth”, “Your Truth” “Their Truth” and all manner of truths, trying to drown the voice of the “One Truth” and we will have a choice to make. Either to follow the ever-changing and ever-modifiable truth or stick with the One unchangeable, ageless, and timeless Truth.
In our journey through life, there are many voices seeking our attention, screaming louder and louder but the good thing is that we have the power to drown the ones we want and raise the sound of the one we need.
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