Posting this from my phone, as our Internet has been down for two weeks now...
Something I’ve always struggled with is wanting everyone to like me. Even if they don’t want to be good friends, I just don’t like the idea of someone DISLIKING me. So act like a fool, trying to please people. Making them laugh, going out of my way for them, mulling over the things I’ve said. No matter how much effort I put into trying to get people to like me, there will always be someone out there who doesn’t. Why? Because I’m not for everyone. My temperament, humor, personality are never going to mesh with absolutely everyone in this world.
I think my childhood played a big part in creating this desire. Growing up, I didn’t have many friends. So I would do weird things, dress strangely, act like a goon to try to get people to notice me. Of course, they did. But because I was so odd, they didn’t want to be my friend. They made fun of me instead. So then in college, I went the opposite way. I tried to be as “normal” as possible. I just wanted to fit in. I did, and I had a lot of “friends”. None of them were REAL friends. Honestly, that’s the biggest problem with partying. People want to party with you, but outside of the weekend, they don’t want to be your true friend.
So I grew up, graduated, and got over it. Though I still struggle with desiring the approval of others (especially those I will probably never get approval from). I have learned to embrace my weirdness. And the strangest thing, I actually have more REAL friends now than ever before! Strange how that works, isn’t it?
My church, Fresh Life, has a “code” that we as members/leaders are encouraged to follow. The second to last point is, “It’s not for everyone. We know not everyone will get it. We are okay with that. Because the stakes are high and time is short, we refuse to back down.” So maybe our way of approaching the Bible and outreach doesn’t appeal to everyone. Oh well. That’s fine. It doesn’t mean we are going to stop doing it. It applies to my personal life too. Just because not everyone in my life is interested in becoming a Christian, that doesn’t mean I should hide it or back down from sharing.
Uniqueness is one of the most beautiful aspects of God’s glorious creation. I need to learn to embrace it. That doesn’t give me the right to be rude or hostile toward people, it just means that I’m allowed to be me. Wherever I want, whenever I want. And if someone doesn’t like the way I am? Well, that’s just tough cookies.