DO 2426 3/88
1. She's really got that craving, that yen for popularity, that yen to be well-thought–of, respected in the community, reputable, of good reputation.—And she's never going to have those things as long as she's what she is & we're what we are!
2. Did we hear if they got around to telling her anything about not being ashamed of the Name of Christ? (Family: They covered that, how we can't be concerned about what other people think, that we only have a short time to do the job & that we have to get it done.—And that there have been too many Christians in the past who were worried about what people thought of them & they didn't get the job done.) Amen, that's her whole problem.—The Oriental custom of saving face!
3. She seems to pay a lot of attention to actual Scriptures & I think if they'd pull a few of those out of their hat they'd have a real punch, like the one they sent her about putting the signs up around the School. When occasion permits it, maybe they can remind her that Jesus said, "If you are ashamed of Me & My Name"—she's afraid of the name "Christian", she's afraid of the Family appearing to be too religious—He said, "I'll be ashamed of you before the Heavenly Father & all the Holy Angels!"—Mk.8:38. That's a pretty serious condemnation! And He said, "Beware when all men think well of you!—Woe unto you!"—Lk.6:26. It would be well for them to memorise those Scriptures & have them ready like a weapon to pull out to remind her! If they give her those references she can run get her Bible & look them up! It would do her a lot of good!
4. She's quite possibly not even familiar with some of those Scriptures. She obviously doesn't know too much about how the Lord works or Christian fundamentals or many of His teachings. He was real specific about that, that "they that live Godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution!", "Beware when all men think well of you!", & you're not to worry about when you're cursed or misused or whatever.—2Ti.3:12; Lk.6:26. He says, "Rejoice & be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in Heaven, for so persecuted they the Prophets which were before you!"—Mt.5:10-12. In other words, you're a Prophet today so they're going to do the same thing to you that they did to the Prophets in the past!
5. She seems to know that, & that's what she fears the most. If there's anything that the Orientals seem to value the most, it's the opinions of men. The Japanese people as a whole are geared to being very concerned about what each other thinks of each other. Nobody wants to step out of line, nobody wants to be different or be called attention to, everybody wants to conform. They are the most terrific conformists I think I have ever heard of in any nationality! They all apparently want to be the same, a bunch of little duplicates, & they're scared to death to be different or to step out of line. They really fear each other's opinions.
6. On the matter of being different, they really are concerned about saving face. Well, saving face is nothing in the World but saving pride & being concerned about appearances! Your face is your appearance, & they want to save their appearance, literally their reputation, what they're reputed to be or supposed to be. They want to save face, save their reputation, save what men think about them. They're men-pleasers. The Family there needs to dig up some of those verses on men-pleasing‚ because she's going to need them. The Lord is really against that manpleasing spirit! She wants to please everybody & make everybody happy.
7. My brother was like that, a Sagittarian. He wanted to be popular‚ he wanted to make everybody happy, he wanted everybody to like him & love him‚ & lots & lots of people did! He was very popular! He was voted the most popular guy in his class at Wheaton College. He was a member of a club, head of that club‚ & because he had to work his way through college, he wound up being the head waiter of the cafeteria.
8. He was the kind of a guy everybody thought was great & he nearly absolutely broke himself up in business by trying to be popular! He held lavish parties at his home & invited all these rich people etc. because he wanted to be popular. Then when I came along, as poor as I was, I had to loan him $20 because he was broke! And finally he went completely bankrupt, he never could live within his means, all because he was trying to buy popularity.
9. Well, she has a real yen for that, she wants to be popular, she wants to be well-thought-of. Maybe it's some kind of a complex because maybe she never was before, or in the past maybe she's been unpopular & suffered from that. So now she's trying to earn or buy or in some way obtain popularity so that everyone will think well of her.
10. They've got to give her that Scripture, "Beware when all men think well of you!"—Luke 6:26. I remember when I was reading the Bible as a young fellow I was concerned in some ways because I wasn't as good-looking & big & handsome as my brother, I wasn't popular, the girls didn't chase after me at all, & I was too shy to chase after them. I've kind of changed, haven't I? Well‚ I don't really have to chase them now‚ thank the Lord.
11. But I'll never forget that I was really comforted by that verse, because a lot of people hated me in school because I was good‚ I was a preacher's kid, I made excellent grades, everything just the opposite of what most of those big bullies were. And they tried to beat me up, give me trouble, tease me, do everything they could. I mean, the Devil hated me then & his minions really tried to give me trouble!
12. So I was anything but popular. I was maybe the most unpopular kid in school! I was a real loner, it just forced me to be a real loner, & that was good for me because it drove me to the Lord & to stay close to Him. He didn't care whether I was popular or not. In fact, I think He was glad I was unpopular with that kind of people!
13. So they've got to talk to her about being thankful that you're not popular, that's what that Scripture says. You're supposed to be thankful that you're unpopular! "Rejoice & be exceeding glad that they hate you & curse you & despitefully use you" etc.—Mt.5:11,12. Be glad that you're unpopular! Be glad that the community doesn't all think well of you! She needs to learn that lesson if she ever learns anything! She really needs those Scriptures, they need to really get them across to her. Of course, they couldn't do everything in that one night they talked to her about this, thank God they got as far as they did!
14. But that is almost her main sin.—Wanting to be well–thought-of & wanting to be popular. I think she really fears persecution for one thing, she's got a persecution complex or phobia. But you've got to remind her, "Beware when all men think well of you! Don't worry about some people hating you & that they don't like you & don't like your Pyramid up there & your people & all that stuff, the Bible says beware when they think well of you, rejoice when they don't!"
15. It's very important she gets those Scriptures. They're mostly in the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes etc., those three Chapters in Matthew 5, 6 & 7. Those are very important for young Christians particularly, new Christians. Matthew was especially talking to new Christian Jews who were really hated & considered unfaithful, disloyal to their faith. They were cast out as real reprobates that had forsaken the Jewish faith & they suffered a lot.
16. So praise God, she just needs to learn. She's somehow gotten the idea that if you're a good Christian, everybody will think well of you, & that if you're real good & righteous like she is, real self-righteous, that you'll be very popular. She's got to be shown that it's just the opposite, that she's bound to be very unpopular & having most people think ill of her! "Beware when all men think well of you!" You're safer if all men think ill of you, it shows you're different!
17. I'll tell you, when I was in school, just about all men thought ill of me, especially the boys. Those American boys are absolute beasts! And because they took that attitude, some of the girls did too.
18. I can only remember one girl throughout my entire High School that liked me, & that was in office practice class. We were both in the back of the room on typewriters side by side. She was from Miami Beach, & as Jewish as she could be, & she probably figured I was too, & we were at that time in a high school mostly populated by Gentiles, the Jews hadn't taken over yet. So she sidled up to me & she shined up to me & she was quite thankful I was back there, & I was good to her & helped her with her work & gave her ideas & stuff. But that's the only girl I can remember all through high school that liked me. She wasn't very pretty, but she was kind of cute & all that, she was a girl! But she really liked me‚ probably because she thought I was Jewish as I could be!
19. But I would say that most of the kids really didn't like me. It was just the opposite with my brother.—He was handsome, an athlete‚ tumbler, actor, everything! Then later in school he went right on up the scale & had all the degrees & finally his PhD & was Vice President of three different colleges! He made a lot of money‚ but no matter how they hiked his salary‚ he never could live within it! He finally spent so much money that he lost his car & he lost his home, because he wasted money instead of meeting the payments. And finally to save his house for his family‚ he lost his wife! He had to divorce her to save the house! Under California State Law regarding communal property, she was held responsible for his debts‚ so to keep her from losing the house, he signed the house over to her & divorced her!
20. Even when he had his little shop up in Northern California selling trinkets & old books, kind of a curiosity shop, once in awhile one of his creditors would find him. He said they'd just come in & take a bag or a suitcase & sweep the shelves off into it & walk off with it! Well, he was popular, all men thought well of him!—Except his creditors! Ha!
21. She really needs to get that message about this business of popularity & wanting to be well–thought-of! That's her problem down at the clubs there, she's so afraid somebody's going to be offended, afraid that somebody's not going to think well of her because she's religious. To her, religiosity is a kind of an unpleasant yoke that's hanging around her neck that she has to bear as her cross or something because it doesn't make her very popular!
22. She's got to get the point that she can't be popular with men & God at the same time! The Apostles made that very clear! "We ought to obey God rather than men!"—Acts 5:29. There are so many Scriptures on it! They need to really give her those Scriptures, & she can take time to look them up & read them for herself.
23. Just remind her, "You're never going to have all those people thinking well of you! You're always going to have enemies! And the more religious you are & the more you do & the more you're a witness & the more well–known your School becomes & the more people that go there to see it & everything else, the more the neighbours are going to hate you! They're going to blame you for everything, disturbing the neighborhood, dragging strangers up into their nice cozy `thou, thee, me & no other' cliquish little club!"
24. She has just got to get that through her head that she is in a very unpopular business in this World! "For the World hateth you", God's Word says, Jesus said! "If ye were of the World, the World would love his own, but because ye are not of the World, but I have chosen you out of the World, therefore the World hateth you!"—Jn.15:19. That's something she apparently has never learned or never heard preached or something, & that is that the more unpopular she is with the World, the more popular she is with God! Does she want to be popular with God or not? "Choose ye this day!"—Josh.24:15. "Who are you going to worship?—Man's opinion? The Devil's people? The opinions of men? Popularity?—Or the Lord?" It's pitiful, really pitiful!
25. She just almost slaves away for popularity, to be well-thought-of, not to offend anybody, to make big friends. Well, that's fine if she can, but they're not always going to be friendly. So I think of all things she needs drummed into her, it's that!
26. Her being a Family member & obedient to the Family & its authorities & all that, forget it!—That's not her biggest problem! Her biggest problem is a desire to be popular! I wonder why? Certainly she's always been beautiful, she won a beauty contest when she was young. Was it because she was so poor that she was unpopular & she suffered from unpopularity or something? It could be some kind of a phobia or complex she got from her childhood, that she so craves & seems to be starved for popularity! It's almost sickening! To me it is sickening, & I'm sure to God it's sickening‚ because His attitude is just the opposite. I mean the more popular you are with the World, the less popular you are with God! He said so!
27. All those quotes are straight from the Words of Jesus‚ & I remember they were a great encouragement & blessing to me when I was a young fellow in school & greatly hated‚ never popular. I was only popular with my teachers—my teachers loved me‚ because I made the best grades in the class & I was always obedient, I was well-behaved & quiet & I studied. Some of my teachers were just almost crazy about me.
28. I had one History teacher who gave me straight 100's for the whole term, nothing but 100's! I know I wasn't perfect & I know I didn't really know that much, but she could have given me 110 compared to the rest of them! They didn't seem to know anything! They didn't study, they just cut up! But I was fascinated by History! They graded according to the scale of one to a hundred & they gave tests that were numbered & you got a certain quantity for each right answer, & I got all the answers right! I made 100 on every test!
29. So I was very popular with my teachers, & that was really who it was important to be popular with. That was the kind of popularity that counted & got me through school with good grades & helped me to learn something & store something in my noodle that was to be needed & good for me & you for the rest of our lives! The teachers, in a sense, represented God & what was right & the knowledge I needed. I was popular with my teachers, but the more popular I was with the teachers‚ the less popular I was with the class. "Teacher's Pet!"—that was one of their favourite names for me! "Sissy!" I was cursed & maligned & called more names!
30. Except for the studies & the teachers & the education, school was Hell for me! It was full of little devils & big devils, wicked people, absolutely Satanic! I'm sure lots of them were demon-possessed! I mean, they did all kinds of horrible things! They grabbed my books & threw'm at the bus driver, or grabbed somebody else's books & threw'm at the bus driver & then blamed it on me etc.! They were always blaming things on me which I wasn't even guilty of, just trying to get me in trouble.—Time & time again! They'd pick a fight & then blame it on me.
31. Popularity is a curse! The best thing to the Lord is to be unpopular with the World & popular with God! Jesus said, "Beware when all men think well of you. The World hates you, because it hates Me! If you were of the World‚ the World would love its own, but because you are not of the World‚ therefore the World hateth you, because it hateth Me!"—Lk.6:26; Jn.15:18-20.
32. Where she got that idea that as a Christian she's supposed to be popular, I don't know, or where she got that craving for being well-thought-of by everybody. It's nice‚ we all enjoy friends & being well-thought-of, & we would prefer to have a good reputation with our neighbours & not have any trouble with them. I'm thankful that most places where we've lived we've managed to behave ourselves well enough that our neighbours liked us, in fact, we've gone out of our way to love'm & try to help'm. We also knew it's good PR, Public Relations, especially when the time may come that we might need their help!
33. Well, PTL! If there's anything she needs, it's to know that it's no credit with God to be popular with Man! In fact, the Lord has a lot of things against men-pleasers & men-pleasing. (See Jn.12:42,43; Eph.6:5-7; Col.3:22-24.)
34. I didn't finish that one story about my brother: Here's my brother, the best looking, tremendous physique, talented, he had everything, including a lot of education, a string of degrees, big jobs. He finally wound up with Aerojet because it paid more money, & he was very popular. But he wound up almost a total failure, dead broke, lost everything, couldn't even keep the goods on his shelves.—And worst of all, he failed the Lord, didn't become the minister he should have become, married the wrong girl who was not interested in the ministry. Everything just went haywire with his life, although to begin with he seemed to have everything!
35. I was just a little skinny scrawny runt, not handsome, unpopular, everything it seemed was going against me. I'll never forget how surprised my Mother was when she found out I could even sing! My brother & sister & father always sang together, but she figured I had to be sent to a singing teacher in order to be taught to sing, when she saw I was going to have to be her song leader because everybody else quit her. She didn't even know I could sing, I'd never sung publicly. They'd sung publicly for years, but nobody ever even asked me! Ha!
36. I was like the little ugly duckling that just sort of was an after-thought, I came along behind the rest & they really didn't expect anything of me, nothing!—Didn't know I could talk, didn't know I could sing, didn't know I could do anything except make good grades! And even that, I think, surprised them! But look at the difference!
37. I found out that I wasn't concerned about being popular with those people. I didn't like them anyhow, why should I want to be popular with them? I didn't like their kind. I would have been sick of being popular with them! My brother loved it but I hated it! But I must admit, it helped to draw me closer to the Lord, I really wanted to be popular with the Lord‚ & as a result, I know I'm a whole lot happier than my brother is. He's a doddering old man now, paralysed from a stroke, in bad shape, & his other wife has now left him & forsaken him, & his kids have stuck him in an old folk's home. He's wound up friendless, familyless‚ & you might say homeless. If it weren't for the fact that his younger daughter who's a Christian takes a little interest in him & tries to be good to him, he would have nothing, he has nothing!
38. He failed the Lord, he failed to do what God wanted him to do, & he knew it! After he graduated from college & ran off with this other woman who was not spiritual at all, he knew he'd failed God. And he got so convicted several times he nearly committed suicide because he knew he was out of God's Will & had failed God. So he drifted further & further from the Lord, he got extremely Worldly & uninterested in God or His Work or anything, & all he chose was what he wanted: Education‚ popularity‚ money! So where did it get him? Where is he at today?—Nowhere! Nothing!
39. It reminds me of that story of the "Stripping of the Slain" (See ML 2079), the Devil just absolutely stripped him! But because of the mercy of God, & I think our prayers‚ the Devil wasn't able to slay him, & he does love the Lord. He's sorry now, he knows he made a mistake. But it's too late, his life is lived.—That's where popularity can get you!
40. I was the most unpopular guy in school, I was never popular‚ I never had any real friends‚ except friends that had to be friends because they were children of my Mother's best friends, like Lamont. He was just the opposite from me too.—Handsome, husky, extremely popular, girls chasing him & everything else, & he went into the air force & became a major & all that sort of thing, an extremely popular guy!
41. But may I dare to suggest this?: Who do you think has the most friends now? And I would say, Lord, if You'll forgive me, who is more popular with You? Lamont was killed in the war. My brother is near death‚ really, down to nothing, living in an old folk's home & has lost everything! Everything! The Devil just stripped him naked, even of his health now.
42. If it weren't for that one precious little Christian girl, Regina, he would have nothing, nobody! She & her husband finally really found & served the Lord. I'll tell you, when you get up in years like that & near death, friends, loved ones & love—people who love you & care for you—become the most important thing in your life, more important than money or possessions or anything else.—And most important of all is to know the Lord & know that you're saved. What's all the rest?—Nothing!
43. I think today, compared to my brother & Lamont & a lot of others, I have everything! I can't think of anything I really need.—Except to get this little gal who is so concerned about her popularity straightened out, so they can get on with the show!
44. Thank God we're not popular with the World! It does cause us a lot of trouble sometimes, but it does us a lot of good with God! PTL? Amen? If we were popular with the World, we could look forward to trouble in Heaven, "everlasting shame & contempt"!—Dan.12:2.
45. I want to tell you, popularity is an evil word!—It should be to us! We have been popular once in awhile, but it always came to an end. Byron or Shakespeare or somebody said, "Fame & riches are fleeting!" They both have wings, the Bible says. So she needs those verses, just to explain to her why Christians are never going to be very popular, especially our kind!
(Additional Scriptures on popularity/ unpopularity with the World!:)
"The World cannot hate you, but Me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil."—Jn.7:7
"Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on Him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him‚ lest they should be put out of the synagogue; For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God."—Jn.12:42‚43.
"Ye adulterers & adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the World is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the World is the enemy of God!"—Ja.4:4.
"And be not conformed to this World but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, & acceptable, & perfect, will of God."—Ro.12:2
"God hath chosen the foolish things of the World to confound the wise; & God hath chosen the weak things of the World to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the World, & things which are despised‚ hath God chosen‚ yea, & things which are not, to bring to nought things that are. For I think that God hath set forth us the Apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the World, & to angels, & to men. We are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak‚ but ye are strong; ye are honourable‚ but we are despised."—1Cor.4:9–10.
"That which is highly esteemed (popular) among men is abomination in the sight of God."—Lk.16:15.