Session 13

Following Jesus is not a popularity contest

From Colossians: A 28-Day Devotional

The divisions broke down something like this: band kids, ROTC kids, jocks, smokers, geeks, preppies, and finally, the ultra-cool kids who transcended all other groups.

Long after high school ends, many of us can still recall the cliques that filled our lunchrooms. To belong to a particular group, you had to dress, talk, and act a certain way. You had to like the same things, like the same people, and, yes, dislike the same people. Life in a clique was about judging others and being judged.

In Colossians, Paul is warning the church in Colossae not to judge one another based on ceremonial religious laws. Religious people in Paul’s day clung to Old Testament tradition and added many rules of their own. If you did not precisely follow these burdensome laws, you were unfit to be part of their group.

In Colossians 2:17-19, Paul reminds the church that we find our identity in Christ, not our traditions or denominations. We are loved and accepted, not for what we do but because we’re His.

"Don’t tolerate people who try to run your life, ordering you to bow and scrape, insisting that you join their obsession with angels and that you seek out visions" (Colossians 18, MSG). Paul says people like this have lost touch with Jesus, the reason for our faith.

Jesus fulfilled all the laws in the Old Testament (Matthew 5:17). He is the head of the church and the one who calls the shots. When we follow Jesus’ example and His lead, we might find ourselves outside others’ expectations. But we’ll always be right where we need to be.


  • Is there a group at work, school, or socially where you find yourself trying to fit in? How might you be compromising your relationship with Jesus to do so?
  • Do you see cliques within the church? What’s one way you can help bridge those gaps in your family?

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