It is difficult making friends now a days with many of us being a little on the anti-social side of the spectrum. It seems quite a bit easier for the social butterflies that float about and talk to everyone that comes within five feet of them. I have even felt guilt on my part when it comes to not talking to people and being Christian, I mean being Christian means you should talk and love everyone, right?
This question along with the guilt has haunted my mind over the years, but it was not until recently that I have made a startling discovering within the realm of socialization. I have tried many different approaches over the years in regards to talking to people and making friends and almost all of them have failed. My initial thought is that I am a bad person, or on the church side of things that maybe I am not really a Christian at all. But I began to notice a pattern with my social life and my life with God.
As Christians we tend to beat ourselves up pretty bad when it comes to many things in life. We want to be perfect and talk perfect and be everyone’s buddy, and as soon as we make one mistake or someone does not like us, we feel like we have failed God as well as life itself. At that point we want to just crawl into a cave and hide from everyone and everything.
Hiding in a cave accomplishes nothing, but coming to know truth accomplishes everything. We must realize that there are going to be people that do not like us especially as Christians. Even in the church we will find people that do not like us regardless of how much we try and be their buddy. But we must come to understand that when someone does not like us, especially within the church, it is a spiritual thing rather than a personal.
I have had people both within and outside the church that did not like me. No matter how much I was nice to them, showed them the love of Christ, or whatever I tried did nothing. I would be so disappointed in myself and think, “I’m not a real Christian! God is not with me!” But just like Jesus, people are going to not like you, even hate you.
“If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (John 15:19 NKJV).
Over the years I have noticed a pattern with the people that do not like me or other Christian brother and sisters that I know. The pattern is the same and the reason clear. Most if not all the people that did not like me or my fellow brethren were non believers or did not take their faith seriously. Even people in the church that proclaim Christ, and yet show no love need to reevaluate their relationship with the Lord. Now of course I am not saying that we are always right and the other is wrong, as we all have things we need to work on within our lives. But when taking a closer look at the other persons life and walk with God as well as our own can help shed light in this area.
I have seen a pattern among Christians today as well as being people pleasers more than lovers of God. I have seen Christians bend over backwards trying to please people and not offend them, thinking that this somehow glorifies God. But the truth is that the world is going to hate you regardless of what you do or say. Does this mean we should do nothing? Absolutely not! But it does mean that we need to only do what the Lord requires of us and not go beyond trying to increase church numbers or make new friends.
As Christians we do not need to be friends with the world. We need to seek friendship within the realm of Christ and Christ only. Now this does not mean we can not have acquaintances within the world, but we need to be careful of who and how much time we spend with them. We must realize and understand that everything is a spiritual thing and process. Who we surround ourselves with the most is who we will ultimately be led to become and imitate the most. We must be led to imitate Christ rather than the ways of the world.
“But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” (Jude 1:20-21).
Let us love all people, but love the Lord the most. Let us be kind to everyone, but not push overs and people pleasers. Let us understand that when someone does not like us, it usually means they are either not a believer or their relationship with the Lord needs work. Let us keep helping one another in brotherly and sisterly love, and help each other grow closer to the One that can save and heal; Jesus Christ.