“What if they don’t like me?”
My first and most outgoing grand kiss spoke those words when I was driving her to vacation bible school. Then, she asked if I could stay with her. I’m so glad we left a little early, so I had time to give her a pep talk. Oh, how I wish I had pep talk when I stopped attending private school and entered a public school that was 10 times the size of the intimate Christian school I’d left. I felt like my grand kiss! “What if this” and “what if that” …so many “what ifs” played out in mind. I can recall a time when there were four girls who taunted me daily. I would go to my locker to get my belongings and they would stand there and say, “She think she cute, where did she come from?” and “Why do she wear dresses every day!” I was petrified because I wasn’t accustomed to this type of treatment, I was liked by pretty much everyone at my previous school. It wasn’t until my cousin Kim found out about it that she shut that all the way down! As I spoke with my kiss, I reminded her how special she is. I wanted her to know who she is, who she represents and how loved she is by many of the people she knows. I told her to own who she is and be confident in that. No matter what others say or think about her, she is God’s Girl. Then I recited a scripture to her:
Psalm 139:13-15 says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.”
Even in knowing who you are, it’s not easy when there are others around who continue to hate on you and you’re not sure why. It can feel so good to speak your mind and tell a person how you feel. But what about stopping to “outclass” someone, not “out trash” them? Give a kind word or a smile to someone who gives you that stale face look. I’ve asked God, “Why do people continue to want to be in my presence when they don’t even care for me?” It may be that they are waiting for me to fall or they’re just testing my Holy Ghost to see if it’s real or not. You don’t always have to voice how you feel about their treatment toward you, sometimes it’s good to let your silence speak for you. Embrace quietness as a gift, knowing that God will vindicate you, He will shield you. (Ask God to send some “Kims” in your life to be your buffer).
I recently heard someone say, “there are some folk who will just hate you because God likes you, you don’t have to do anything at all but it’s because of your Jesus fragrance.” But all they have to do is taste and see that the Lord is good, then they can wear His fragrance and smell just as good.
God is so amazing in how He designs each one of us. He gives some the natural ability to be more outgoing and to others, the natural ability to be more reflective. But all of us were made purposefully and perfectly fit together. It’s a beautiful thing when we discover who we are in Jesus and find peace in who He created us to be. We can optimize our strengths and lean into Jesus to cover our weaknesses. I believe that’s the problem with people who don’t like you, especially when they don’t know you: they’re dealing with their own insecurities. Once they find out who they are in Christ, they can rejoice in their victories as well as the successes of others. They’ll be able to see that your accomplishments won’t have any bearings on theirs, because we are all living out our purpose and shining where God has planted us.
I really don’t like the saying, “use your haters as elevators.” I don’t want hate to help me rise to the top, I want love to do that. I’ve grown to love my enemies. Now, don’t get it twisted, I still ask God to keep them away. But when He decides to allow them to be in my presence, I just get a little extra Jesus juice poured on me and I embrace and kiss those jokers just like we are BFFs. The love I have for God causes me to respond accordingly. I refuse to let others hinder me. So, if you’re that person who finds it hard to be around unlovable people, try to walk in the Spirit. I know it’s hard but ask God to empower you and to remove your emotions and let love cover you. And if you’re on the other side of the coin, the hater…FIND JESUS and get over yourself.
Father, you said in Matthew 5:41 to love our enemies and to pray for them! Today, God, I choose to love and pray for those who persecute or mistreat me because I know that we are called to love all people, regardless of how they treat us. Although some may set themselves up as enemies against us, they are people in need of a saving relationship with You, Jesus. I pray that our love for You will guide us to love them and pray that they might enter into Your kingdom! Let us as believers continue to let our light shine and embrace the difficult ones. We know that the chief enemy is Satan, so we should recognize that ultimately Satan is at work behind those we see as our flesh and blood enemies! God, you are the greatest example. You prayed for your enemies while you were being put to death! If you can forgive those horrible people, then who are we to hold onto their wrongdoings toward us. Father forgive us! Draw them to Your Kingdom, rescue them from Satan’s clutch. I pray that they will become one of your children, holy and dearly loved, clothed with compassion and kindness. In Jesus’ name, Amen.