"The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you." Philipians 4:9
In today's social media driven world, one of the things by which people are known and sometimes evaluated is by how many followers they have. Whether it is the number of friends on Facebook or followers on Twitter, it says something about your fame and popularity (or lack thereof). For this reason, we are constantly invited to "friend," "like," or "follow" individuals, companies and institutions. The question, however, is why?
When you follow your favorite athlete, singer or actor, what is the benefit? You may be among the first to know about their next event. You may be a part of the "in crowd" that learns what happens to them before the news media blasts it all over the world. Mostly what you will get are their opinions (qualified or not) about other people and their circumstances. It is virtually an every day occurrence that someone is forced to apologize for something they said about someone else our of anger, retribution, jealousy or influence of substances via social media because so many are following them.
Beloved, the apostle Paul made an audacious yet qualified "follow" request 2000 years before it was the mainstream thing to do. He was able to do this for three very important reasons. First, he was personally commissioned by the Lord to do it (Acts 9:15). Second, the example he offered was one designed to benefit the follower (Galatians 2:20). And finally, the destination of the follow-ship he requested was not himself, but Jesus (1 Corinthians 11:1).
Let us be mindful of who we follow, why we follow them and most importantly, where we are allowing ourselves to be led. Jesus once famously said, "If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit" Matthew 15:14b.