If you are popular with your friends, this means that you have their approval.  In our modern society, one is usually popular if he or she does what “everybody is doing.”  And, that isn’t usually very good.  There are those who feel that popularity must be gained no matter what the cost.  Many a boy and girl have wound up on the wrong side of the law in order to try and gain approval by the “gang.”  Likewise, many a man and woman have forsaken honesty and integrity, doing what they felt they must do in order to “keep up with the Joneses.”


          Is popularity really that important?  Popularity is not equated with happiness.  Many have thought that this popularity would be the ultimate end—that happiness would be complete—only to realize too late that there was little chance of happiness.  Think about the alcoholic—and the statisticians tell us that there are now between nine and ten million of them in the United States, many of them children—who started out just taking a drink because it was the “in” thing to do.  The same thing is true of the drug addicts.  Few people have wanted to become drug addicts, but this is the result of following the crowd in the wrong direction.  Think of the fathers who have lost their families, their jobs, and their health because they thought that they would not be accepted if they did not drink.  Think of the mothers who have had to be sent to mental institutions after abusing their children, selling everything they could get their hands on to buy drugs or liquor, all because they thought that these things would be an answer to their problems.  Think of the young girls who thought that they would have to be promiscuous in order to be popular. This life of no restraint might appear to be a real ball for a while, but what about the time when such people would like to settle down and enjoy a family?  Who wants to marry a girl who has given herself to all of his friends?


          There is a better way.  There is God’s way.  It can bring happiness here and hereafter.  If the crowd that you want to be popular with demands that you sacrifice principles, then it is not the crowd that you should be popular with.  The apostle Paul says, “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.” (1 Cor.15:33).  Therefore, choose friends who are interested in righteousness.   Where can you find them?  There must be a few left; look in the right places—for example, the worship services.  Everybody’s not attending, but why not start the trend!