I remember a time in high school when I was not liked by a few people around me. A big group of my friends were headed to the theater to see a new movie. I looked into the movie online, did a bit of research on the content, and decided that because of my convictions, I couldn’t see it. I had to decline the invitation to go.
Focus on living for Christ, and you’ll soon realize that your friends’ opinions aren’t quite as important as you once thought they were.
Telling my friends “no” was really hard. A few of them got upset and accused me of being a goody two-shoes. They said I was being completely judgmental.
I felt horrible. My friends were upset with me, and I was pushed out of the group. They made it very clear that they weren’t interested in having a dead weight in their close group of friends.
Although I stood up for what I believed was right, I still felt the weight of not being liked. And I didn’t like it.
Where I Went Wrong
Looking back, I now realize exactly where I went wrong in that situation.
I allowed my friends’ opinions of me to affect my attitude. I wanted to be liked, and I felt extremely uncomfortable when I had to stand up for my convictions and go against the crowd. I was apologetic and ashamed of standing up for what I believe.
Maybe you’ve been in a similar situation. You want to be liked. You want to be accepted. You just want to fit it, but you can’t always do that and live out your faith.
Looking back, I’ve learned a few things since that moment:
- I can’t worry about what my friends think of me when it comes to my personal convictions.
- Someone will always disagree with me, and there will always be someone who doesn’t like what I’m doing.
- In order to maintain my peace, joy, and sanity, I have to ultimately live for Christ’s approval above all others.
- I can’t try to please everyone.
- I have to know who I most want to please and stick with that. If not, I’ll go crazy and become a very insecure girl.
When it comes down to it, you really only have three options.
- Follow the crowd and compromise your beliefs because you don’t want to stand out.
- Stand up for your beliefs, but act ashamed and apologetic.
- State your beliefs in a loving way, and leave the results in God’s hands.
Galatians 1:10 points us to the best choice:
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
My biggest encouragement for you during this school year would be this: live for Christ’s approval alone.
My biggest encouragement for you during this school year would be this: live for Christ’s approval alone. Don’t worry about what others think of your personal convictions and Christian beliefs.
You will never be able to please everyone. The best solution to this problem is to live for the only opinion that matters—that of Jesus.
I challenge you to quit trying to make everyone like you. Focus on living for Christ, and you’ll soon realize that your friends’ opinions aren’t quite as important as you once thought they were.