The Popularity Game

emilyBut, how do you make really good friends?

If only I had the answer, I would certainly share that precious information with the sweet girl staring at me. She had sat at a table with several kids her age and wanted to make friends but didn’t know what to say. Mercy, but haven’t I been there a time or a thousand myself?

I just want a forever kind of friend, ya know?

I know more than she could even imagine. How was it possible that she put words to a desire of mine? A forever kind of friend. I wanted to have all of the right words – to wave a magic wand and give her friends. Instead, I just kept driving, staring at the road ahead of me and praying for wisdom.

She stared out of her window, tears threatening to fall, and whispered, “It’s just really hard to be popular.” I knew exactly what she meant but I also knew something else. I knew something, as an adult, that my ten year old self didn’t know either. It really isn’t all that hard to be popular.

For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. – Matthew 7:13

Popular is easy. Just say whatever people want to hear. Don’t ruffle feathers. Don’t rock the boat. Don’t try anything new. Don’t risk being different. Don’t be unique.

Conform.

Conform.

Conform.

Do these things and, eventually, you will find yourself popular – whatever that even means.

We pulled into the garage. I shut off the car and turned to her.

The world doesn’t need any more popular people. The world needs authentic people. The world needs people who are boldly unique. The world needs truth. The world needs you the way God made you – not the way you think the world wants you.

She nodded her head and smiled. That makes sense. Off she went to do the next thing.

Sometimes, that girl makes me speak truth to myself.

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