Christians live for the approval of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. If we have His approval, we don’t need anyone else’s.
It’s not bad to have people’s approval; it’s a nice thing, depending on who the people are! But ultimately we’re concerned with being approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed.
Cancel Culture is the latest manifestation of the world trying to knock everyone into conformity. Conformity is their big weapon. Their world is a giant junior high lunch room.
But the Bible tells us to not be conformed to the world. Christians should resist all intimidation and Cancel Culture power trips.
Resisting conformity only happens if you don’t need the conformer’s approval. If you can get by just fine in life without being applauded, appreciated, or praised by people who can’t stand you, then Cancel Culture will affect you much less.
Who gives a rip what the world thinks?
Now, this is easy to say, but it is hard to be under attack by lots of people. There is a cost. I’ve had it to a degree in my life and it hurts. But it’s probably also the main thing that drove me to faith in Christ and His word.
What can you do to minimize your need for people’s approval?
- Live simply. If you don’t spend much money you don’t have to make much money. According to them, not being able to make money is the worst thing that can happen to a person cuz they won’t be able to keep up with what’s cool. This is why they boycott and try to get people fired. By not playing either end of their game, there’s not much they can do to you!
- Be connected with people you love. This is where family and church should step in. The more the world turns on us, the more we will flourish in our true relationships with like-minded people. This isn’t hiding in bunkers or refusing to interact with others or living in a lock-stepped bubble, it’s more having a group of people that refreshes you and makes your efforts worth it. There is encouragement to get back out there and keep fighting.
- Practice being weird. I know this will trouble some people, but it’s good practice! Go to the store without doing your hair first! Purposely violate an arbitrary rule or two. Refuse to stand up when everyone else stands up. Be the last one to sit down. Sneeze obnoxiously! OK, I’ll stop. If you’re too afraid to be an individual, conformity might have a grip on you. Being constantly concerned with physical appearances is a bad sign. Always having to be the weirdo isn’t good either however, because you’re clearly trying to get attention and approval for being weird. There is a balance. Find it!
- Tune out. You honestly don’t have to pay attention to people that much! I mean, you should have some people you pay attention to, but there is no obligation to pay attention to all the information the world is spewing at you. Stay off the internet for a while. Facebook allows you to mute people! Cut back on news intake. There are people out there who honestly think you’ll care if people on social media turn on you. Don’t be dependent on social media likes. It’s fake. It means nothing.
- Have a real life. Do real things with real people and real physical objects. Have a life no one knows about. Work with your hands. Create something. If your public life gets destroyed, so be it, it’s not the whole of who you are. Cancel Culture is public shaming. Don’t need public and you won’t feel their shame!
- Be centered on Christ. Are you laying up treasure in heaven? If you’re overly concerned with the things of this world, your spiritual life will be squashed. You will conform. Do you spend time with the Lord daily? No one can take that from you. Develop your prayer life. Have an ongoing discussion with the Lord that no one else hears. It’s just you and God in the end anyway, might as well live like it.
- Have an eternal perspective. Cancel Culture moves quick. They totally forget what they were outraged about last week as they move on to their next target. Wait it out. Time heals all wounds. This too shall pass. Nothing the world does to you will have eternal effects, except good ones if it results in spiritual growth! Bring it on!
I do not want to be flippant. It hurts when people turn on you, especially since the Bible says those of your own household will turn on you. That hurts. The pain is real.
But understand what it is. It’s temporal. It may indeed be the end of the world, but after that the resurrection! If you lose your eternal focus the world will trample you. You’ll covet their approval. You’ll give in. You’ll conform.
But even if you do, the Lord always takes people back. Remember Peter?
I do think you should practice taking a stand on some things. Start with minor things and work up. I don’t mean being a jerk either. And I don’t mean putting screeds on the internet.
I mean where you work, where you live. Say the thing you’re afraid to say to the person you’re afraid of. Take the stand for righteousness in that awkward conversation. Risk a little cancelling.
Again, not to be a jerk, not to fight and argue, but to humbly stand your ground. God gives us armor so we can stand. Not so we run away and not so we walk around stirring up trouble. We do all to stand. So stand.
Don’t fear those who can hurt the body, fear the one who has power over your body and soul. A proper fear of God will keep you from fearing people.
People who conform to the world have no fear of God. People who fear God will not conform to the world.
You’ll stand before Him some day to give an account. Every deed and every word that comes out of your mouth will be reviewed on that day.
Only His approval matters. Live like it.