(the continuation of 'I Don't Like People Part 1')
Have you ever been in a casual conversation with a few people, and notice yourself starting to exhibit similar characteristics? You begin to boast on the fact that you have a bad attitude and how you stick to yourself? You brag about how people do not like you and how so many people are jealous of you? Yea, those types of conversations are nothing but a waste and are filled with pride. The concern comes when you try to gloat in it, you try to make it seem cool, you try to make it seem like you are much better than others. You think it is cute to have broken and dysfunctional relationships or no relationships at all. Starting in high school, I used to be that girl on some level. The root of the phrase, “I don't like people,” was from my insecurity. After thinking it, and repeatedly saying it, I believed it. I was ignorant of why I thought I felt a dislike for people. Living that out helped build my pride. I boasted about the fact that I do not have many friends and how I do not hang with many girls. I believed I was too mature to even relate with certain people. PRIDE at its best. It slide right in. Please know that I am not saying that anything is wrong with identifying with the fact that we may not connect with certain people but the problem comes when it’s identified with no attempt to try to change it.
Can I be honest with you? I am still trying not to boast about the fact that I do not use the word “friend” very much. Yes, it is good to understand that you have Judases in your life and it is good to be cautious of the haters. For the ones who have shown themselves to be true, for the ones who have shown themselves to be gifts from God, those are the ones you need to grab hold to and let down your walls; they deserve a place in your circle. It doesn’t mean you are weak when you build these relationships. In this journey, what I have come to find out is that the same things I struggle with are the same things others may struggle with. The ones who share their biggest secrets, the ones who know our issues, they are those who have been consistent. The ones who make you feel like you are not alone; those are the ones who have earned the right to be called “friend”. Pride and insecurity will only cause us to miss out on God’s gifts, treasures and next level.
Freshman year in college, I still felt like, “ughhhhh, I don't like people.” Things changed when I started growing in God. I joined a campus ministry my second semester in college. One day, God let me know that it is not that I don't like people, it is that I was uncomfortable around them. What I didn’t like, was the way I felt when I was around people. Basically, it was my insecurities that made me feel and act out in the way that I did. It was simple, but it was a shift in perspective. The issue was within me, not people.
For years, and even after my small revelation, I still held up a wall and did not bother to relate and I was, as they say, watchful, discerning, feeling out the spirit. All of that is good to do, but it became a cover up at times. Yes, Yes, always be mindful of the company you keep (1Corinthians 15:33). Nevertheless sooner or later you have to decide to break down the wall. I dealt with social anxiety and my own insecurities and in spite of all of that, I grew in God. He helped me to connect with people. He helped me see people’s needs and not my shortcomings. He helped me see that my part in the body of Christ involves people. So, to say, “I don't like people” is contradictory to who I am and most definitely who God has created me to be. Not only that, but it is contradictory to who God is. We cannot let the issues of our heart push away relationships. We have to get before God and have a conversation and be willing to take faith steps.
I am called to people. I am drawn to people; none of that would be in me to do if I did not like people. Therefore, because I am called to people I am going to try my best to get along with others and be a walking representative of Christ. In spite of my shortcomings and my introverted personality, it does not negate the fact that I TRULY care, like and love people. You may have been that girl like I was or that guy or you could still be that girl or that guy. Do you know one of the enemy’s biggest lies is to make you think and feel like you are alone and you do not need anybody (pride). Understand that isolation will kill your relationships and you. Through experience, I have come to learn that it is sometimes in our pride that we push others away, silently speaking death over our relationships (Proverbs 18:21). We have to learn how to balance life. We have to learn how to manage our insecurities and kill our pride. What will be that balance? God is the only equalizer to any and all imbalances. Building relationships is not easy at all. From romance to associates, you have to learn how to humble yourselves and trust God (Romans 12:-20). We have to trust God when connecting with others because there is always a risk involved, but you have to have faith that when you take the risk God has taken it with you. Whenever I feel overwhelmed with relationships, I always say this and remind myself, I do not trust man more than I trust God (Proverbs 3:5). I challenge you to Trust God with your relationships. If you do that you will not just love people as He has commanded, but you will learn to like them as well.
By: Ivory Polk