Are you more concerned that people will follow Jesus or that they will like you?
It is a simple question that requires hours of self-reflection, honest relationships, and time in prayer to answer. Because you are a Christian and a representative of Jesus to the world, it is easy to see the two things as being one. They are not the same, and each one has different ramifications.
If you want people to like you, then you will do anything to win their approval. That often means you will change your views to suit the situation. You will never be able to draw a hard line on anything for fear of someone being on the other side. You will also steer away from anything that pushes people to make difficult decisions. There will be no cross those who follow Jesus to take up daily; instead, it will be positive aphorisms repeated to make people happy. Sections of the Bible will have to be ignored or explained away so as not to offend anyone. Being liked makes it hard for you to stand with Jesus because you are always protecting yourself.
If you want people to follow Jesus, then that is an equally challenging road to walk. You will have to speak the truth and understand that people are rejecting Jesus and not you. You will be forced to ask life-altering questions knowing that some people will resent you for doing it. The Bible will be held in high regard, even though you know others will reject it. Helping people to become fully devoted followers of Jesus is a path that forces you to put down your pride and self-promotion.
This week when you talk to other people, there will be a point where you must ask yourself, “Am I concerned with people following Jesus or liking me?” When that moment comes, you can choose the path of least resistance and immediate gratification and decide to do something that will make other people think you are a great person. The other choice will be to stand for the truth in following Jesus. It will be a difficult decision, but you can choose whichever way you like. Just one, Jesus told his followers, is the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father but through him.