Ever get the sense that someone doesn’t like you? Or seems to be getting more and more distant? Me too.
Over the years I think we’ve all experienced this, from the girl on the playground in 5th grade who always made fun of your hair, the girl by your locker in 8th grade whose mission was to make sure you felt left out, or after a game on a Friday night in high school when we you weren't invited to the party - some people just don't like us, and that's ok.
On the flip side, I’m sure we can all list a few people we don’t really care for as well, so it’s comforting that it happens to everyone, we just don’t like to be on the receiving end of it!
When someone begins to distance themselves from me I start to believe there must be something wrong with me. Or if someone never calls back or initiates another get together, I feel rejected.
What’s ironic though, is that throughout scripture, we find the most spiritual game changers used by the Lord were often despised by men, Jesus the most notable. Jesus was rejected during his time on earth and is still rejected today. He is slandered, hated, and rejected even long after his physical death.....yet He never sinned.
Jesus gets it. He’s lived it, He’s experienced it, and He mastered it, because He is God. Hebrews 4:15 says “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every was as we are, yet without sin.” So rest assured He is fully able to sympathize with being left out, or someone plotting against us (Judas), or denying they even know us to other people (Peter). The coolest part about this, is that when we are in direct relationship with Jesus, He can help us navigate the hardship and make us more like Him!
It's just a normal part of life on this side of heaven, and as women, we struggle harder with it, because being accepted and liked is a form of security for us. But He uses these struggles to mature us in our relationship and dependence on Him!
Rest assured, people not liking you does not mean you're unlikable.
We cannot talk someone into liking us. We can’t do enough things for them, say enough right words to them, or try to interact differently with them to ensure their approval. Please, sweet sister, don't try to sell yourself to someone...if it's not working, let it go. We end up spending too much mental and emotional energy fretting about it, and it keeps us in chains, preoccupied and distracted from the purpose God has for us!
Jesus wants us to turn our chins back to Him, to realize we don’t need their approval, we already have His! And when we truly absorb that truth, we can live in abundant freedom!
Paul gave us a very introspective question to ask ourselves in Galatians 1:10, and it’s something I think about a lot when I get stuck.
“Am I not trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10
I cannot be a servant of Christ when I’m distracted by someone who doesn’t like me or when I’m spending so much of my thought life on ways to gain their approval. When I’m spending time and energy to secure the approval of that person to make sure I’m worth something, I’m working way too hard to please people.
When I realize my security is in Jesus, my identity is in Jesus, my worth is in Jesus, and my approval is in Jesus, I am free as a bird to be who He created me to be. I can concentrate on Him, and the people He brings into my life that I may not see if I’m distracted with my eyes on the one who had rejected me.