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One of the cool kids

Remember that moment in whatever grade, at whatever age, where you wanted to be popular? You wanted to be picked first, sit at the “cool kids table,” and get invited to all the parties. You wanted to be known, known by many and known well. For me, it was the sixth grade. I was 11, and I was known well and liked by many. I got invited to all the birthday parties and included in all of the happenings.

Whether you are still in school or dealing with office politics, the opinion of others is as consistent as the wind. As I left my middle school in seventh grade, everything changed. It was as though I’d never been there. No more parties, no more being picked first, no more popularity. Funny how that works, huh? It feels so great in the moment – to be on top and have everyone know it – but it fades so fast. 

Popularity always ends. That’s what King Solomon is getting at when he describes the fickleness of men’s opinions in Ecclesiastes 4:13-16. It’s nice to be popular – to have everyone approve of what we do and to achieve much. But our worldly achievements and the approval of others have a shorter shelf life than cottage cheese. Solomon calls it “meaningless, a chasing after the wind” (Ecclesiastes 4:16).

When we’re trying to win someone’s approval, we put time, energy and effort into whatever they find most important. So let’s make sure we’re focusing on the only opinion that matters. To strive for popularity is meaningless. To strive for approval from others is meaningless. God's approval given to all of us through faith in Jesus is meaningful. 


  • If you look back over the last week, whose opinion were you most concerned about? Are there things you need to change to make God’s opinion the most influential one in your life?
  • Influence is a powerful thing, and we all have some. How can you be more intentional about using the influence you have to draw others closer to Jesus?

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