Have you ever been in a place where you just feel like you’re weird? Like no one likes you? Like no one understands you? I do. All the time. And sometimes that actually really hurts me. I know when I feel like I will never fit into my workplace, or with a certain group at church, or with a circle of friends, it ultimately affects how I see myself and how I feel like everyone around me see me. Sometimes knowing you’re different makes you feel outcasted and lonely. And that never really feels good for anyone.
I was not the girl they’d always known, of course I was different
When I first came to know Christ, I had a quick turn around in the person I was. God changed me from the inside out and he did it fast. All the “friends” I’d had prior to meeting Jesus thought I was a “freak”, a “bible thumper”, “holy- roller”, and many other nasty words that people like to call passionate Christians. But I had been radically changed. I was not the girl they’d always known, of course I was different. But that didn’t make it bad. Jesus tells us in Matthew 5 that “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven [and] blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on [His] account”. As a new Christian it was very easy for me to recognize that my persecution was coming because I was doing what was right and not conforming to the rituals of the world. Romans 12:2 tells us “Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind”. I used to take comfort in these verses knowing that as God has made me knew, I was going to get pushback from the ugliness of the world we live in.
So why do I care what people think so much?
I wish I could say that now, two years later, I was still as strong against the persecution as I was when it was all new and the fire was bright. But sometimes when people are being nasty… it’s just hard. I’m always feeling like I don’t fit in anywhere and that I just am not liked. And I know that I shouldn’t feel this way because I know that I am loved. God loves me and he says that I am his prized possession. So why do I care so much what people think? I’m surrounded by people who love me for me, and for the person God made me to be. My husband loves me in ways I have never known or experienced love before. My family’s love for me in completely unconditional. I have friends who have seen me at my worst, as well as my best, and have loved me through it all. So why do I care what people think so much? Shouldn’t the opinions of those who love me matter more than the opinions of people who don’t?
We want people to like what they see
I care what people think because it is very natural, as a human being, and especially as woman, to do so. In this world we are always trying to impress one another. Why else would we have things like Facebook or Instagram, also known as “highlight reels” of our lives. We want people to notice us, and we want people to like what they see. When we don’t get the reaction we were hoping for, we change and hope for better next time.
I have been taking this study with a group of women at my church called “Me, Myself, and Lies”. I was drawn to this study because I believe that I am very prone to believing the lies that the enemy creeps into my mind on a regular basis, as many other women are familiar with. Lies like: I’m not a good wife, I am a failure, I’m not actually that good of a singer, I’m fat, I’m ugly, No one likes me, I’m so annoying, I’m so dumb, I’m not good enough… The list goes on and on. The things I tell myself on a regular basis are so awful that I would never dream of saying them to another person, yet, I say them to myself all the time.
God tells me I am made in His image (Genesis 1:27)
God tells me I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14)
God tells me I am His workmanship (Ephesians 2:10)
God calls me Beloved (Romans 9:25)
God teaches me about all my gifts in 1 Corinthians 12. He has designed me to be different, to be unique, to be special, and to be loved. He does not want me to hate on myself and tell myself such terrible lies every day and he does not want me to care what the world thinks of me. I, like many others around me, spend so much time worrying about what everyone thinks about me. “Why won’t this person talk to me, why doesn’t that person want to hang out with me, why does this person blatantly not like me, why is that person so mean…?” God says in response to these questions “I want to talk to you. I want to hang out with you. I love you. I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So who cares what those people think of me? I may be different, and I may be weird, to you. I may be strange, loud, or just “not your type of person” but that doesn’t make me any less of God’s daughter, a member of His precious kingdom, and loved beyond measure. I was created on purpose, to be exactly who God made me to be.
I was created on purpose
Learning to love myself the way God loves me is hard. I have a mind filled with sin and susceptible to temptations from the evil one, just like the rest of you. It’s so easy to believe the terrible lies that creep into our minds and to believe these awful untruths about ourselves. But God tells us over and over that all of these lies are completely wrong and we should never think of ourselves in this way, because He would never think of us in that way. As I go through this journey of learning to love myself, I urge my sisters to do the same. Read the word of God, his beautiful Love Letter to you, and hear the wonderful things he thinks about you. There is so much in the Bible to tell us that God loves us and the fact that he sacrificed His only son for yours and my sake is enough to make you believe it. I for one could never give up someone I loved as much as my own child for the sake of humanity. But God did, because he loves us THAT much. Remember the weight of his love for you in those times when you’re beating yourself up. Remember that those are lies and that all things good come from above. And when people are being mean to us, remember to show them a little grace, because though they may not deserve it, God made them the way they are too, and he loves them too. So we should forgive them when they slight us and do us wrong. Because that’s what Jesus would do.
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