How to Be Cool and Radically Popular:
I’ve finally figured it out – the 85 steps to being cool and radically popular. If you combine Teen People’s Trendspotting “Top 10” (NASCAR racing shirts, tube tops, cargo & khaki, short hair for guys, braids, wraps and ponytails for girls & bead bracelets), with YM’s Confidence Makeovers “15 Ways to Feel Fab About Yourself” (visualize yourself being more confident, listen to upbeat music before you go out to pump yourself up, make a list of things you like about yourself, start exercising and get a makeover), and Teen Magazine’s 60 Hot Spring Looks (a Rusty white jacket, Todd Oldham Jeans, Angel sunglasses, Airwalk sneakers, and that’s just for starters) you should be guaranteed to be cool and radically popular, right?
I don’t think so. I mean, even if you somehow were able to manage to duplicate these teen magazine’s “perfect person” without entirely breaking your bank account, you would have to do it all over again next month when the new Trendspotting’s Top 10 is published. (Not to mention the fact that this list is already dated – its over ten years old already!). It’s a never-ending cycle that’s bound to leave you frustrated and confused. If you think there has to be an easier way to become cool and radically popular, I think you’re right. When someone says, “I wish I was cool and radically popular”, what are they really wanting? I believe what they are really saying is, I wish I had more friends. If this is true, and the real desire is to have more friends, then what can we do to make friends and keep friends? The Bible has some answers for us, and it’s a lot simpler than the teen fashion magazines would have us believe…
1. BE FRIENDLY
“A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24).
The first key to making and keeping friends is to be friendly. If you find that you’re having a hard time making friends, step back and ask yourself – am I being a friendly person? Am I being the kind of person that I would look for in a friend? If you answered no to either of those questions, then it’s time to make a change. Jesus said, “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” If you want people to be friendly to you, then start being friendly to them. If you are shy, pray that God will give you boldness to talk to people, to make friends.
2. LOVE AT ALL TIMES
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” (Proverbs 17:17).
The second key to making and keeping friends is to be a friend who will stick closer than a brother, to love at all times – through the good times and the bad times. What do people normally do when their friends do something to tick them off? They ‘unfriend’ them on Facebook and go find a new friend. If you want to enjoy some intimate, heart-to-heart friendships, like David and Jonathan had in the Bible, then you need to love at all times, to learn to forgive, and be loyal to your friends.
3. FOCUS ON THE INNER-YOU
“Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty that depends on fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should be known for the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.” (1 Peter 3:3-4, NLT).
The third key to making and keeping friends is to focus on the inner-you. Be real. Be yourself. If someone’s only going to be your friend because you wear a certain name-brand or style of clothing, that’s a pretty superficial relationship, don’t you think? Look for friends who will accept you for who you are, and you will find a much deeper and lasting relationship there.
Relationships are very important to God. God wants us to take off our masks and stop trying to pretend to be something we’re not. He wants us to become open and transparent, and get connected with one another in deep and meaningful relationships. It’s time to stop trying to be cool and popular, and time to start being real and friendly. It’s time to stop forming exclusive groups / cliques and instead create friendship clusters – that is, a close-knit group of friends, but one that is open to welcoming new people into it. And that is really cool.
p.s. check out my other blog New Life today to see some Calvin and Hobbes comic strips that deal with the topic of being cool…
Pastor Chris Jordan