Not Popular by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be popular. When I was little, I was not popular because I was overweight with glasses.

When I was a teenager, I was not popular because I was a poor girl in a rich environment.

In college, I sought popularity the wrong way—by attempting to be the life of the party—and that involved heavy drinking and inappropriate behavior. I was popular for the wrong reasons.

I was just reading about Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor who handed Jesus over to be killed. He did not think Jesus was guilty, yet he succumbed to his thirst for popularity. When he tried to release Jesus, the Jewish leaders shouted, ‘If you release this man, you are no ‘friend of Caesar.’ Anyone who declares himself a king is a rebel against Caesar” (John 19:12). Pontius Pilate gave into his fear of not being liked by Caesar as well as to public opinion. So, he turned Jesus over to be crucified. He chose popularity over what was right.

I am still not popular—but it is by choice. My days of partying and trying to fit in are a distant memory. Now, I take a stand for my faith through these devotions, media and through our outreaches, and it is not always popular. I have been held at arm’s length by some family members and have been rejected by Jewish family members because I am a vocal Christian. However, Jesus prepared us for this. In Luke 12:51–53 he said, “Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law” (NIV).

Jesus was saying the cross will bring division—even in families. This fact breaks my heart, because I love and want to be loved, but I continue to teach and take a stand for Christ—with no compromise. If this makes me unpopular, then so be it. When I get to Heaven, I want to be commended for someone who was not afraid to speak from a position of truth, no matter how unpopular it might be.

What about you? Are you choosing popularity over an all-in devotion to God?

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  1. Good word, Lisa. Thank you. The popularity factor and the need to be a people-pleaser have to be reckoned with. Aside from that, loving our family and our closest friends so far much makes it very difficult to feel the rejection and disconnect. I’m thankful the Word prepares us. It takes knowing the love and loyalty to us from Jesus to willingly surrender our all to Him. ❤️

    1. Thank you Annette,

      I still want to meet with you! Let’s get something on the calendar for a Zoom meeting?



    1. I will be at NRB, not Elevate. I just felt like, with school, it was too much to do both. I will offer some dates, maybe after NRB?

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