Do you ever worry over whether anyone has anything to gain from knowing you and being with you? I know I have. It was one of my major concerns in relationships for a long time. I wanted to ensure that I was a worthwhile friend, relative, significant other. I looked around me to find out what made a good friend.
I looked at the popular people or ones that were really good at making people listen to them and pay attention to what they did. I wanted to be like them. I thought that people who made the biggest noise must be the only ones that others noticed or cared about. I thought I had to strive to be a celebrity to be anything at all.
I’ve found that that’s not true. I need to be me. And I need to live every day so that the fullness of who I am comes out to others. If I am giving them something other than myself, then I am wasting their time. Someone else could probably pull off a better version of the fake “me” anyway. Plus, I’ve discovered that if you really are yourself, people will like you. And the ones who don’t like the real you wouldn’t be doing you such a big favor if they liked the fake you.
Not everyone is going to like me. What a pain that was to my pride at first. It was actually a shock: Me? People not like? Are you kidding? I’m so unique…and special…who wouldn’t want to like me? But, as I have really thought about it, I’ve come to a different conclusion: Other people are unique and special–why then don’t I like everybody, especially if that’s the prerequisite for affection? The fact is I don’t. And I don’t think I’m called to. I’m called to love everyone, but that doesn’t always mean that feeling and a deep soul-connection will be involved. Sometimes it’s just a matter of the will, an act of obedience. I do what is consistent with God’s nature because He has put it inside of me and called me to cultivate faithfulness in it. This is all I should really want. Throw in a couple, or one really good friend and I’m good. And I should want the same for others too. If I’m not their special friend, that’s okay. If they don’t particularly like me, I don’t have to fix that either. They can be who they are and I can be who I am. I just pray that the love of God covers all and fills all. With that I will be content. That’s all I need. In this way, more will be made of God’s miracle-working love than of our ability to naturally get along with everyone we meet. It will be shown that God’s favor on us has the ability to overflow others where we would have no favor to extend. That is a thing of beauty, isn’t it?