Boy, things are really a mess in our nation’s capitol. I’ve resorted to hoping that our nation’s leaders (if you can call them that) will decide to settle their differences with a mud wrestling tournament on the White House lawn. It wouldn’t be any more civil, but at least it would be more entertaining.
Messes like this bring the pollsters out of the woodwork. Everybody with a telephone and a sheet of graph paper is producing data on who’s winning or losing this brouhaha. Every night we hear about somebody’s approval ratings hitting a new low. Call me crazy, but I think a low approval rating is not all bad.
Jesus said, “What sorrow awaits you who are praised by the crowds, for their ancestors also praised false prophets.” (Luke 6:26)
He also said, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)
Was Jesus only kidding, or was he trying to tell us that widespread approval and fellowship with the majority isn’t all it’s cracked up to be?
This much I know: none of us should ever allow the praise (or the disdain) of men to dictate our actions. Right is right, no matter how many people disapprove of it. And wrong is wrong, no matter how many people want to see it happen. Popularity polls and approval ratings give the 24-hour talking heads something with which to fill time, but they do not reflect wisdom or even understanding of the issues. Keep in mind, some of the same Einsteins on the street who don’t know who the first President of the United States was are voting in these opinion polls.
I also try to remember that it was anemic approval ratings that caused John the Baptist to get his head lopped off, Jesus to be nailed to a cross, and Paul to be thrown into prison. Yet I’m confident none of them would change a thing.
So don’t worry if some people don’t like you. Just make sure God approves of how you’re living your life.
Oh yes, and join me in praying for that mud wrestling tournament on the White House lawn.
For further reflection read Hebrews 11:32-40.