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Christian Life

Dear Girls: Not Everyone Will Like You

Girl-looking-away

From kindergarten to college, most of us desire to be liked. While qualifications to be “cool” change significantly between elementary school and college, our desire to please people follows us regardless of age. Christians are often expected to be an extra degree of “nice,” and young women especially believe that if people don’t like them, they are doing something wrong.

People like us because of many reasons: personality, interests, hobbies and shared memories among them. Unfortunately, some people will dislike us for these same reasons. It is affirming to have the approval of others, but the approval of people is never completely secure.

This insecurity puts us in a precarious emotional position. We twist and dance and form ourselves into pretzels to keep approval in place, and in doing so, begin to lose a sense of who we are and what we believe. This is because forming ourselves for the approval of others leaves us looking more like them than like ourselves!

So here is the truth, girls: Not everyone will like you—and that’s okay!

We aren’t the only ones who struggle with people-pleasing. Some of the characters we meet in the Bible had this same problem—among them, Jesus’ own disciple, Peter. In Mark 15:66-72, Jesus had been arrested and all of His disciples had fled. Peter was following Jesus at a distance when a young girl said, “Weren’t you with that Nazarene, Jesus?” (v. 67). Peter denied even knowing Jesus—three times! Peter was more concerned with what people would think of him than of what God thought of him in that moment.

Trying to please people makes us do things we wouldn’t otherwise do. We might dress or talk in a certain way to get the attention of guys. We might compromise our values to fit in with a certain crowd. Or we might change who we are in order to be liked. But in the end, “fitting in” isn’t what life is about. Life is about bringing glory to God and reflecting His love to all those around us—which we can’t do when our attention is focused on being liked.

Certainly, we should never be rude, obnoxious or mean to the people around us. Kindness and love go a long way in improving our relationships as a whole! But with some people, our best efforts will still never convince them to like us in the way we might wish. This is when we have to put our hope and security in God—not in being the most popular girl in school.

Depending on the approval of God enables us to be a version of ourselves that isn’t based on what our friends are doing or what the culture says is right. When you answer to God alone, you don’t have to worry about the opinions of people. You can simply follow Jesus—and be yourself. By seeking to please God, you won’t try to blend in with what is “cool” and “popular” because being loved and holy is so much more important.

And by looking to God, we become like Him. As we become more like Him, His love, joy and peace radiate out of us, making us more likeable women along the way! As Psalm 34:5 says: “Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces will never be ashamed.” Paul echoed this in his letter to the Thessalonians, saying: “Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts.” (1 Thess. 2:4 NLT)

So girls, instead of trying to please the crowds, simply seek to the please the One who loves you best.

Image: Lightstock | Prixel Creative

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6 Comments

  1. Project Inspired

    Posted by volleyball2899 on June 28, 2015 at 09:49

    Dear project inspired,
    I have a question to ask that doesn’t necessarily pertain to this article per say. I’ve been struggling lately with how the bible talks about women. A peer of mine recently posted something on Facebook quoting the bible where it says women must submit to their husbands and remain quiet in church. I challenged his mindset, explaining that I have a female preacher and I care about female rights. He and his brother replied saying how my preacher is sinful and wrong and how obviously the bible states women must submit and not have a voice in the church. I know that’s what the bible says technically, but it really bothers me, which makes me feel bad for doubting God’s word. Is my preacher really sinful? Does God really think of women this way? As lesser/unequal? It really angers me. As a self proclaimed feminist, I really need help understanding and accepting this. Thank you and God bless!:)

    • findingthelord

      Posted by findingthelord on July 1, 2015 at 17:43

      I really recommend you read this article that breaks it down bit by bit that answers your question: http://www.truthortradition.com/articles/should-women-be-silent-in-the-church-a-biblical-study-of-1-corinthians-1434-and-35

      TL;DR version: “The weight of evidence leads to the conclusion that 1 Corinthians 14:34 and 35, which say women should be silent and not speak in the church, was not part of the original God-breathed Word, but was written by a copyist who had strong feelings about women’s participation in Christian meetings. However, if the verses are original, then as we have seen above, it seems very clear that they were written to deal with the specific constraints of the first-century culture, and were not God’s intention for women for all time. The Bible makes it clear that every Christian, every man and woman in the Church, has an important place in the Body of Christ and a calling of God to do something for Him. Our Adversary, the Devil has worked overtime to keep Christians from fulfilling their God-given calling. Let’s not allow the Devil, or people who have been tricked by him, to limit the effectiveness of half of the Body of Christ by some mistranslations and misunderstood verses. Women, you have a place in the Body of Christ and a calling on your life. Find out what it is and get about acting on it.”

  2. carolinereinhart1

    Posted by carolinereinhart1 on June 26, 2015 at 15:25

    Thank you so much for writing this, seriously. With the same-sex marriage issue, I was near tears because I knew that people wouldn’t like my beliefs. I just messaged some of my friends and apologized that I didn’t share their beliefs. This has just really made me feel better. I shouldn’t have to apologize for obeying God and His commandments or encouraging others to do the same. Thanks so so much! <3

    • martial_artist_for_Jesus

      Posted by martial_artist_for_Jesus on June 26, 2015 at 16:03

      OH. MY. GOSH. O.O I was thinking the exact same thing!!! On Facebook, a bit ago, I posted how the “Supreme” Court’s decision made me sick, and that we as a nation are becoming more and more like yo-yo Israel in the past…. and r turning our backs on God. I’m friends w/ a couple of people who aren’t believers, and even some people who say they go to Church but don’t have Jesus in their hearts or know what’s in the Bible. When I attempted to explain, how people aren’t “born” gay and homosexuality is sin, things escalated into a debate, then an argument, fairly quickly. I got sick of it all and logged off, even though I told them, IDC if u agree w/ me or not, I’m just stating the facts. U don’t wanna believe them, that is your choice. Honestly, sweet girl, I think u took it a TON better than me; yes, I’m a pretty sensitive person in general too, but I also have a bit of a temper and can get riled up easily enough if someone continuously provokes me w/out stopping. But, I am glad to know I’m certainly not alone in this struggle!! 🙂 (also, prayers for my impulsivity/temper would be appreciated XD if u’d like 🙂 )