When you’re a kid, other kids won’t like you for whatever reason. The way you look, the friends you have, the music you listen to, something you said. Petty reasons really, it’s all petty. I wish I could say that it changes when we become adults, but it doesn’t. It’s still petty. What a shock it was to me when I realized not everyone likes me. Why? What did I do to them?
There’s always someone who won’t like me. Their parenting styles may be too different than mine. They may just despise me for having what they want. It could be someone who has known me a long time and just doesn’t want to like me. Or, I could have never even spoken to the person and they already made their mind up. That’s all ok. Sometimes their reason may be that they don’t want to accept my beliefs and I’m a constant reminder of that. That is also ok. “The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.”-John 14:17
No matter how much I try, I can’t always avoid confrontation. More times than not, I can’t understand how I could be at fault in an argument. When I feel I haven’t done a thing wrong, I need Jesus to share his compassion with me. The same compassion he had for those who persecuted him, “father forgive them, they do not know what they are doing” Luke 23:34. What an awesome way our Lord loves! I want to love like that.
Think about these things for the next time you encounter unwanted conflict between others.
Be humbled, allow yourself to be humbled so that you can see the argument from a different perspective. We all live different lives and come from different backgrounds. You never know what that person may have been through in the past or that day. We are all human and we all have the same emotions and feelings. Some may be more or less sensitive than others; however, we are NOT perfect. There’s only one perfect person and we can only strive to be more like Him. “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” –Ephesians 4:2
Speak Love, evaluate your own words. Think about where your words are coming from. Am I speaking from the spirit or the flesh? It can be so easy to let earthly pride overcome our mouths. “From the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” -Matthew 12:34. If my words are not filled with compassion, I need to get to work on my heart. Again, we are not perfect, sometimes comments slip out that we wish we didn’t say. Other times we catch ourselves and hold onto those words that so badly want to dive out of our mouths. If we want to have a heart like Jesus, we have to watch our mouths.
Forgive, don’t hold onto those hurtful words or keep grudges. Holding a grudge will often hurt you more than the other person. This can be truly challenging. We can say that we forgive. But, do we really? Let Him help you forgive when it seems too hard. “Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them” Luke 17:4. If He can forgive us for our tricky mouths and prideful hearts, we should forgive others for the same.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4
God uses our trials and confrontations to make us stronger than we ever thought we could be. Although we don’t ever want to go through these things, it’s important that we cling to Christ. He can and will take your problems and turn them into something unimaginable. It’s ok if someone doesn’t like you! It’s not ok if we try so hard to be accepted that we lose ourselves! Through happiness and heartaches, constantly strive to have a heart like Jesus.
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