Generally speaking, I am not a people-pleaser. For example, if somebody were to tell me they thought I was stupid, I’d probably think to myself something along the lines of, Well, I don’t really like your teeth, so I’m not sure what to tell you.
They would be so far off from right that, in my mind, Credibility and them aren’t even on the same planet. Humble, I know. I try, I do.
As most people do, I love to be known. And not just known, but loved for what’s known about me. I was talking to my sister-in-law last week and she was describing somebody to me and she said, “She’s like you, she asks a lot of questions.” And she was saying it in a positive way, to point out something she really likes about this other person that is similar to something about me.
You would have thought that she had just told me I was prettier than Miss Universe for how happy it made me. Why? Because she was pointing out something she knew and liked about me.
But I’m even content to not be known, as long as who I am isn’t misperceived and misconstrued.
Somebody can think something negative about me, but if I know it’s not true, it hardly ruffles my feathers. Only enough for me to take the time (in my head) to list the things I don’t like about their teeth. Or their ears. Or the way they laugh. (So annoying, FYI).
It’s when somebody points out something they “know” about me that is actually not all that rightly perceived. It’s something that’s only true part of the time or actually true a lot less of the time than it used to be or it’s true in a way that they don’t see. Make sense?
Recently I had an experience in which that happened. Somebody “knew” something about me but portrayed it in such a way that it actually (in my mind) cloudily portrayed who I really was. Since it was something that was “true” in some sense, I couldn’t so easily let it roll off my back. So, since it wasn’t rolling off my back, I knit it a sweater and wore it around for a few days.
Thankfully, the Lord loves me a whole lot and cares a lot about these burdens I wear and sent someone to speak words of truth and grace and love to me. Essentially she said, You can choose to let these offenses go and humble yourself and draw closer to the Lord, or you can refuse and hold on to them and completely miss out on what he has for you during this season. Which are always good things. Just not through the route I would choose, which is usually sunshine and rainbows and stops at Sonic.
Jesus was/is God but he laid aside all of the privileges of being God in order to be a servant unto death, lavishly loving us, completely forgiving us, covering every last vestige of shame and sin with his grace, and clothing us with his goodness and righteousness.
So I think I can manage (by his grace) to lay aside the measly desire to be known and liked and understood and let him produce his good purpose in me.
But I think I’ll still stop at Sonic on the way.