Everyone wants to be liked…
And by everyone I mean me.
But I don’t just struggle with wanting everyone to like me… I struggle with trying to be everyone’s best friend.
This isn’t a new struggle for me. My junior year of high school I was the type of girl who would try to be everyone’s best friend. I said all the right things, talked to everyone, was very much known as the “nice girl” and let me tell ya something — that crap was exhausting and not what Jesus wanted
I felt this pressure that as the Christian girl I was supposed to be everyone’s best friend. I would try to hang with everyone and by trying to be friends with everyone, I lost my voice. I became whoever the other person wanted. And also it is impossible to be known by many many people…
I still struggle with this today. I desperately want everyone to like me. I desire many friendships. But then I realize because I tried to have it all I lost my unique personality and I lost my true purpose.
Here’s the truth to you — Jesus never wanted you to be everyone’s best friend.
You may be confused, but please keep reading.
There’s a story in the Bible in the book of Acts involving two men, Paul and Barnabas. Paul was someone who used to be named Saul, someone who persecuted Christians even ordering them to be killed and killing them. However, He found Jesus and then joined the people who were spreading the gospel all over. His name changed from Saul to Paul because of this conversion. Many people didn’t trust Paul at first since His reputation was so scary. But Barnabas was one of the people who convinced the apostles to welcome him and to be not be scared about him.
But at the point of this passage, Paul and Barnabas disagreed about if they should bring John Mark to spread the gospel with them. It says they had a sharp disagreement and then separated. After this, it is believed that Paul and Barnabas never saw each other again.
Their friendship was over.
This doesn’t mean that Paul and Barnabas started gossiping about each other.
In fact in other passages, Paul speaks highly of Barnabas after this.
Their split just means– they had to go in a different direction in order to live out their purpose.
To the one who has outgrown friendships — it is okay. Don’t gossip about them. Don’t talk negative about that season. Look forward to where God wants you in your present. God is doing something new in your life. Live out your purpose and Jesus will send people who He desires for you to pursue as a friend and companion in your mission. Walking in your purpose sometimes means you have to walk away from people who once were a major part of your life.
To the one with toxic friends — it is okay to walk away. You aren’t Jesus. You can’t save everyone or anyone. Love Jesus enough to place yourself in an environment that pushes yourself to Him. If someone is distracting you from Jesus, walk away and go live out your purpose. Find people who push you to walking in your purpose.
Let me be clear – Jesus wants you to love everyone. But loving everyone doesn’t mean you have to agree with everyone. You can have a sharp disagreement with someone. You can disagree with someone and not desire to go where they are going. You can move on physically and emotionally, if you feel God calling you in another direction. Jesus doesn’t require you to be best friends with everyone. In fact, you can’t be best friend with everyone. Jesus sat and ate with all types of people. He never was exclusive. But the people who walked with Him through His everyday were going where He was going.
There is always room for everyone at your table. However, there’s not always room for everyone in your close circle.
So do yourself a favor– take a deep breath. You can’t be everyone’s best friend.
Focus on being kind more than you care about being liked.
Focus on being bold more than you care about getting along with everyone.
And live out your purpose. Don’t live life to be liked.
Scripture to read: Acts 15:36-41
Photography credit: Vanassa Photography.
Follow me on instagram for more encouragement, @thegracevalentine or read my others blogs on this site http://www.gracevalentine.org