I hate that I don’t like people.
Not "all" people just...certain ones. This is one thing I struggle with and hate possibly the most.
What a powerfully deceptive weapon the enemy has. You’ve heard it before, “You’re not going to be best friends with everyone.” While that’s true, it indicates that it’s OKAY to dislike people. But not everyone gets along, right?
In my desire to grow closer and closer to the Lord, I’m discovering that I really truly do want to be like Him. He is so kind, He is so affirming and He brings peace and rest to my soul.
What if I were like that? What if every interaction I had, I brought JESUS. Thus bringing peace to others' souls.
I’ll tell you what: if I don’t like someone, chances are I’m not bringing peace to their soul. Odds are I’m not affirming them or showing them unmerited love the way that Christ does either.
Is there anyone in your life who just irks you? Gets under your skin a little?
Let’s start here: did they offend you? Can you let go and forgive them? Can you pray blessings on them?
These are tools Jesus gives us in the Bible. Pray for your enemies!
Maybe they’re not your "enemy" but they are just annoying. Maybe you’ve grown impatient with their characteristics or life choices. I wonder if God grew impatient of my life choices and characteristics - what would I feel? Rejected? Alone? Definitely unworthy.
Maybe you feel rejected, alone and unworthy. You’re not rejected. You’re never alone and He calls you worthy! He is so in love with you and knows who He has created you to be. He knows that you’re far more valuable to Him than even His own life.
When we sit in a place of judgment toward others, we don’t realize that we are inviting the same judgment on ourselves. Have you ever noticed, for every finger you have pointed out at others, there are 10 more pointing back at you? Maybe it’s all in your head or maybe there is truth to it. I’ve found that a lot of my anxiety has stemmed from criticizing others, holding them to unrealistic expectations in my head and being frustrated when they let me down. All while doing the same to myself 10x more. I’m sure this sounds familiar, “What the heck were you thinking?! Why did you say that?! Now you’re gonna pay. They’re going to make fun of you. They’re going to think you’re stupid and see that you’re a failure. They’re going to be annoyed with you, grow impatient and avoid you.”
Who is that?!
I’ve had these thoughts, and, let me tell you, they’re not the thoughts my heavenly Father thinks towards me.
Maybe you read that and say, “Yea who cares! Who cares what they think!” And, while that’s a valid response, all of us care. We all want to be loved and accepted by each other.
Once we live in a place of belief, that we are loved and accepted by the God of the Universe, we don’t care about gaining that love and acceptance from others.
It’s nice when it comes, but it’s not my lifeblood. It’s not where I get my value.
That being said, God created us to have unity. He has given us community and relationships for a reason. To be a blessing and to be blessed. To be encouraged and to encourage. To be loved and to love.
Unity with others is a picture of wholeness.
So if we desire to be loved and accepted, but are not willing to love others and accept them, where does that leave us?
It’s a place the enemy wants us. A place where we feel alone. Have you ever been surrounded by people and felt utterly alone? Like, no one gets you? If you can answer yes to this then you know what I’m talking about.
Friends, if you relate to any of this, I want to encourage you to pray with me in a way that I try to pray often:
Father, would you create in me a heart of unity. A heart that desires to love everyone...even the annoying ones. Even the ones that have hurt me. And especially the ones I just simply don’t like. Help me not to be annoyed or bitter. Help me to forgive them, Father. I need you Holy Spirit to help me not harden my heart towards others or towards You. God, help me to have grace on ____________ the way you have had grace on me. Help me to realize the grace that I have been given. Help me to love you so much that I can’t help but to love your children. Let me see them as you do: precious and worthy of honor. Worthy of love and acceptance from me. Forgive me that I didn’t trust you to help me. Forgive me that I haven’t held these thoughts captive, bringing them to you. Teach me how to walk in freedom and how to hold the thoughts I have about myself and others captive, giving them to you. Thank You that You are creating in me a new heart like Yours. Thank You that You are setting me free from the unnecessary baggage of critical thoughts that I have been carrying. Thank You, Father, that You aren’t mad or disappointed with me. Thank You that You love me, that You bring me peace and You are my strength. In Jesus' name, amen.
- Amanda Santistevan