Many of my clients are “people pleasers” and struggle to live on purpose because of it. You should certainly try to live at peace with everyone, as it depends on you. That’s Romans 12:18. However, you will never live a conflict free life because there will always be people who don’t like what you stand for, what you do, or who you are.
Check out Matthew 11:16-19. Jesus says that some people are like children never satisfied. “We played wedding songs and you didn’t dance, so we played funeral songs and you didn’t mourn.” The religious leaders criticized John the Baptist because he was a bit formal, never hanging out with people. He was super serious about his purpose so they said John was possessed by a demon. On the other hand, Jesus was known to feast and drink with all kinds of people so they called him a glutton and a drunk. They said he worked for Satan. What’s the lesson? People can always find a reason to dislike you, so you might as well be yourself and get okay with it.
People can always find a reason to dislike you, so you might as well be yourself and get okay with it.
Jesus and John made the Jewish leaders uncomfortable. When people are uncomfortable with who you are, it’s much easier to criticize you than to try to better understand you. Don’t shift your personality, behavior, or opinions to avoid this criticism. God made you unique, don’t conform to avoid the backlash. No matter who you are or who you pretend to be, everybody is not going to like you. #imawitness
When people are uncomfortable with who you are, it’s much easier to criticize you than to try to better understand you.
Perhaps you’re frustrated being tossed about by the opinions of others and don’t have a true sense of self. You want everyone to like you so you try not to “ruffle any feathers.” Yet, in the end you’re disappointed because everyone still doesn’t like you. They still criticize you. Now, you’re mad at yourself for trying. Learn from Jesus. In verse 19 he said, “wisdom is shown to be right by its results.” Live on purpose. Be true to who you are and let the results speak for themselves.
My grandmother and I would sit at the kitchen table sharing pie. I’d complain about people talking about me, most specifically lying about me. She’d say, “Honey, they talked about Jesus.” We’d be in a blank staring contest for what seemed like a half hour but in reality it was only a few seconds. I didn’t get it.
After many years of trying to be what others thought I should be and do things the way others thought I should do them, I finally understood my grandmother. Jesus is the greatest figure in the history of the world. He’s the Savior of the world and people still disparage Him—2000 years later. Who am I to be exempt from criticism?
You are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” You are “crowned with glory.” We are called to serve one another and to live at peace with each other. However, an important lesson Jesus taught is that we must love our neighbors as we love ourselves. You have to love you before you can genuinely love anyone else.
And remember… you have to be you before you can love you.
Ask God to show you who you are. Then, don’t change unless God tells you to change it.
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