Follow, Following, Followers!

Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot about how it’s a bad thing to be a follower.  I’ve heard: “you’re a follower”, and “you don’t make your own decisions”.  These comments haven’t been pointed directly towards me, but they’ve been aimed at one of my friends.  Well I would like to explain to you today, the ways a person should be a follower, and why we as a society are naturally followers.

First of all, what is the definition of a follower?  The Merriam-Webster dictionary had two good definitions for it.  1. “one that imitates another”  2. “one that chases”.  We see that in the Bible, the apostles were, by definition, followers.  They not only followed Jesus around,  but they left their lives behind to follow someone who had changed their point of view, and their life.  Simon Peter was a fisherman, and when Jesus asked him to leave his work and follow, Simon dropped everything and left it all behind.  From then on, he followed Jesus everywhere he went, and followed His teaching until the day he died.  That’s the kind of follower we all should be.  I use this example of Jesus because that’s a big part of my life.  But it could be anything, from a war starting where you have to take sides, or a humanitarian crisis where you are urged by your own conviction to take action.  I recently joined the Invisible Children group at Liberty University.  From day one in the group I have been working with them to spread the word and to raise money for the rehabilitation center we are trying to build in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  This is the kind of following we should be doing.

Our society is also a follower society, but most of the time, it’s not in a healthy way.  The person calling my friend a follower is also very much so a follower.  He thinks he isn’t because he is on leadership, but he is, and I’ll tell you why.  Our society as a whole is following.  We have become so interested in what others believe that when something new comes out, or something nice is available, we want it.  We follow trends on the market because we want others to accept us.  We follow politicians, advertisers, social media, television, music, and many others.  I’m not trying to put any of these down, but I do think we need to take a step back and realize exactly who and what we follow.  Just like on twitter, there’s the follow button.  I myself am on twitter so follow me @pinkpanther1122.  Haha but I want to warn you, before clicking that button to follow, think about the pros and cons.  Why are you wanting to follow a politician, why is this trend in clothing a good choice for you, and why should you allow yourself to listen to this music group.  Many times we listen or watch, or follow specific things that go against our own value system.  Don’t follow blindly, and don’t be persuaded into something you know you shouldn’t be doing.  I must admit, this has happened to me more than once, and later I reap the consequences.  But I want to urge you to think about the decisions you take, and the messages you follow and associate your name with.  While wearing a certain brand isn’t a big deal, following a certain politician is.  You can’t stand with someone that doesn’t believe the same thing as you.  Your point of view will change, and unfortunately, your belief system will change also. I urge you to also take action against the wrongs you see in society.  I personally am involved in Invisible Children because I see slavery and child soldiers as something that is wrong and should be stopped right now.  There are many other issues going on, and I encourage you to take a stand for what you believe, instead of just watching the results!

5 comments on “Follow, Following, Followers!

  1. Ed Pinkston says:

    Great! Eager to hear news about the project. Slavery and human trafficing is a very real evil that needs to be fought! Most of us don’t know what to do so we do nothing. Glad that you are doing something. Don Pablo Besson, one of the first missionaries to Argenta, would go to a house of prostitution house posing as a customer, then he would sneek out with the prostitute and get her back to her family. A pretty dangerious effort, but it worked, and he soon got the police to close down the houses.

  2. Old Jules says:

    Following echoes of our own thoughts isn’t likely to teach us anything at all. Attempting to anchor ourselves to what we already believe we know or opine is counter-growth in the most fundamental way possible. Following those with whom we disagree might well allow us to learn something we didn’t know about ourselves and our ideas/beliefs or at least about the workings of the minds of our enemies. Following people we agree with is meaningless.

    • ok i understand your point of view, but if you follow someone you disagree with, you’re just defeating your own value system. Why would you follow someone who believed in abortion if you were pro-life, and why would I follow someone who was a creationist if I was an evolutionist. I agree that we should become educated and knowledgeable in our oppositions viewpoint, but to follow them, is not what you should do.

  3. Andrew says:

    Good post. The question is not whether to follow or not to follow, but rather what should we follow? Do we follow a person? If so, which person? Do we follow our emotional drives? Do we follow our animal instincts? Do we follow our passions? I think there is some good in each of these, but we need to sort through them and make the right choices based on the truth God has revealed to us in the Bible and that he has made evident to us in our hearts. For instance, we should follow Jesus, but we should not follow Judas. We should follow our emotional drive of compassion to help people in need, but we should not follow our emotional drive of anger to hurt the person who has harmed us. We should follow our animal instinct to drink when we are thirsty, but we should not follow our animal instinct to have sex outside of marriage. We should follow our passion for people, but we should not follow our passion for money. These are just a few examples.

    There is also a different type of following. I think there are two different ways to follow: you can follow someone/thing as an authority (as I have spoken of above), and follow someone/thing to know them/it. When you follow someone as an authority, you are submitting yourself to them, but when you follow someone to know them, you are not submitting to them. You are seeking to learn how they think and what they think with a critical eye. This is the way we should follow people that think differently than we do. We can learn from them and change our way of thinking when we realize they are doing something better than us, yet we can also distance ourselves from them when we recognize they are doing something worse than us. We can also learn to appreciate differences when those differences are not moral.

    • jebidiah says:

      One very good example of someone we should follow to learn from is Benjamin Franklin. He created a list of thirteen virtues that he decided to perfect during his lifetime. Of those thirteen, he claims to only fail in one area: humility. This man doesn’t believe exactly what I believe, but I would definitely follow him to learn from his life and hopefully gain in many moral aspects of my own life.

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