Today I’m so very excited, not only have a guest post, but also to be doing a two part series.
My guest is the one and only Garrett, from his new blog Sovereign Swag. Honestly, it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite blogs. I look forward to reading his posts on Monday mornings, so go check out his blog.
(And can we just agree that Sovereign Swag is the coolest blog name ever?)
*coughs* (Even if you don’t agree, we must get on with this post, and maybe if you check out his blog, you’ll at least agree it’s pretty cool.) All right, so now I’ll let Garrett take over.
You don’t have to listen to the critics, the voices of people that dislike you. The voices of the jealous ones, the angry ones. The honest truth is that people are going to dislike you. They may even hate you. And that’s okay. Even Jesus was hated and mocked by people, including his own family!
All you can do is your best, making decisions that are best for you, with the guidance of God. If people don’t like that, then they clearly don’t need to be in your life. Boundaries are essential. You’re not selfish, you’re doing what’s best for you. As I’ve said before, we are called to take care of ourselves.
(Side note, this isn’t an excuse to disrespect your parents. They deserve respect, even if you’re not their biggest fan. However, if they’re abusive, tell another adult. Get help.)
We usually think of that in terms of the physical, but it applies to the mental and emotional realms too. You move in the direction of your strongest thoughts, and who you hang out with influences those thoughts.
If your supposed “friends” expect you to please them constantly, and shame you for having boundaries, then you need to move on. If they only talk to you when nobody else is around, or if they only use you as a sounding board, not caring what your day was like, or how you feel, move on. Your feelings, your emotions, your body, it’s yours. Don’t be a doormat for people. Stand up for yourself.
I know, it’s hard. But you’re never going to please everyone. It’s impossible.
It’s going to hurt. You’ll feel alone, inadequate, depressed. And that’s okay. Grieve for those friends. Be angry. Feel the feelings. Feel, but don’t believe. Don’t act on them.
You just have to push through the insults, the mockery, the contempt that you recieve. It’s easy to read this, and know you should do it. It’s much harder to actually do it. But this is why God’s given us armor. To protect us, not only from the “flaming arrows of the evil one” but from the flaming arrows of the world and its constituents. It is imperative that you power through, holding the sword of the spirit and wearing the armor of God, doing as he commands. He will support you, because he loves you.
Galatians 1:10 says “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
The only one we should aim to please is God. And guess what? We don’t have to earn his approval. It’s unconditional. There’s nothing we can do to win his approval or love or pride. And that’s amazing. Think on that for a second, yall. He already loves us and is proud of us.
He’s all that matters. He’s all we should aim for. Everything else is secondary, or even tertiary.
Now, as an extrovert, this is much easier said than done, for me personally. But I remember that people are temporary. Friendships are temporary. Romance is temporary, some relationships more than others.
Just because we lose friends or don’t have them doesn’t mean it will be that way forever. God will place people in our lives at key times. We will never truly be alone, remember that. He is with us.
Deuteronomy 10:31 is perfect for this situation: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Keep that verse in mind, and you’ll be good.
Stay salty friends.