– “The action or practice of publicly expressing opinions or sentiments intended to demonstrate one's good character or the moral correctness of one's position on a particular issue”
Virtue signaling is born out of the fear of public opinion. That fear will make you hypocritical and weak. Here are just a few examples.
In the sermon on the mount, Jesus called out those who sounded trumpets to get folks’ attention so they could be seen giving to the poor. He also taught us not to emulate those who stood praying in public places in order to be seen by men. Still others he warned about were people who fasted, but wanted everyone to know they were fasting so they would be impressed with their piety (Matthew 6:1-18). Yes, virtue signaling was a thing even back then.
Jesus gave sight to a man who had been blind all of his life. When questioned about it, the man’s parents refused to publicly acknowledge what Jesus did for their son because they were afraid of being put out of the synagogue (John 9:1-23).
Many of the rulers in Jerusalem believed in Jesus, but refused to publicly confess him for fear of the opinions of the Pharisees. John wrote that they loved the approval of men more than they loved the approval of God (John 12:42-43).
Fear compelled Peter to deny Jesus three times when accused of having been one of his followers. Jesus had even told Peter that he would deny him. Eventually, this stalwart apostle would weep bitter tears of remorse over his lapse. He had sent the wrong signal and gave up virtue in the process.
Can you relate? Have you ever “sold out” to avoid being “put out”? Fear is a hard master, and will constantly remind you of your weakness.
Simply put, the only person’s opinion that should matter to me as a Christian is Christ’s. If I please him in my thoughts, speech and behavior, no one else matters.
One day, we will all stand before him. On that day, at that moment, we will see public opinion for the pathetic lie it is, and want more than anything only to be approved by Jesus the Lord of Glory.