I want people to like me. There, I said it.
We aren’t supposed to care about people’s opinions, but I know many of us do. It’s human nature. If only we could turn a blind eye to their judgment. If only it didn’t sting the way it does.
One of the verses that comes to mind when I think about this topic is Galatians 1:10. “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” If we were looking to have everyone like us, first of all, it would never happen. No matter what, some people just are going to turn up their nose at friendship with each of us. Whether they know us or not, nothing we do will make a difference. But it is easy to get into the habit of agreeing with them to win them over in some foolish attempt. We can get trapped in a choice or even a lifestyle that really isn’t who we are all in the name of “friendship.”
The type of friendship where we change who we are to please someone is in quotes because it is an illusion. We may think we see it, but they don’t and the rest of the world doesn’t either. It is all in our heads.
Another chapter that tells me how to handle this is in Ephesians. Ephesians 5:15-16 says, “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” If these verses were true 2,000 years ago, think how much more true they are today! The days are evil because Satan is out there roaming around, looking for an easy target. He wants us off balance and searching for love and companionship. He will provide it, but it won’t help us. It will only ensnare us into a life we don’t want. By the time we realize that, it’s often too late.
We all like to think that we are out of danger in this area once we aren’t teenagers anymore. Honestly though, I struggle with this more now than I did in high school. Back then, the stakes were lower and life was simpler. (You couldn’t have told me that then though!) Now I have a husband and children, a job, and bills to pay. It is so much easier to do something the easy way with no one knowing. It is so much easier to say what another mom wants to hear so she will like me.
Bottom line is that we must stay strong. We need to keep seeking God and knowing what HE says is right. We need to stay on the straight and narrow path even when people we want to please are going a different direction. With tenacity and prayer, maybe those people will come over to our path. Our eternal future depends on us staying the course, and so does theirs.
Linking with Holley Gerth