I have a confession to make. Sometimes I tell my kids to do things that I, myself, do not do. I’ve told them this more times than I can remember, “Do not get caught up in the ‘likes’.” They post a picture of themselves and rate how well liked they are by how many likes they get. I even tell them,”How dumb,” yet I do it, too.I’ve always preferred to express myself in the written form. Talking in front of people has never been my forte. I choose to write a lot because I’ve found I stick my foot in my mouth less if I can go back and proofread. I place a higher significance on what I write on anything I ever say. Why? I want to inspire, to encourage, to bring hope. If I’m being honest, though, I also place a great emphasis on being liked through what I write. Over the last while, I’ve used a very good thing in my life to do one thing and one thing only – to bring ISOLATION. I write how I feel, I can somehow control my environment. I can “be” with the people without actually “being” with the people. If I create my safe little world through words, then I can better safeguard myself from getting hurt by people. I can allow all of you in my world and still encourage and offer hope without you fully knowing me. Guess what? That hasn’t worked. I fully believe in community, but I’ve longed controlled who gets in because my past of being hurt by people has caused me to be quite cynical. If I let you in, you’re probably in for life, because despite all of my cynicism, I’m fiercely loyal. Here’s the thing…this neat, little world I’ve created for myself has brought me hurt and loneliness lately. I’ve found myself wondering,”Why didn’t ‘that friend’ like what I wrote? They must not be for me.” I would allow moments of this thinking to create a false reality for me. “What did I do? What did I say?” I’ve allowed it to make me feel inadequate as a leader because I assumed I couldn’t inspire. I truly believe that we have to get messy in people’s lives, but I couldn’t allow others to get messy in mine due to constant assumption. Being away often brings fresh perspective. While I don’t see my favorite means of communicating to change, I do see my focus changing. You see, the one constant I do have in my life is I want more than anything to be obedient to God more than I care who likes me or doesn’t like me. I have allowed the opinion of others – real or not – to determine whether or not I write, whether or not I encourage, whether or not I want to be hopeful. This morning in my quiet time I read Romans 1:12,”“that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.”
The cool thing I see is that we both need each other in every area of our lives. I must live out my calling and you must live out yours. In the end, we’ve made each other better. Sure, there will always be people who won’t respond to our calling, but that is no reason to stop. Allow me to encourage you today to BE who God has created you to be, and DO that to which He has called you to do. Know today that you need those around you to become, so who can you encourage in that way today? Let me say, I AM FOR YOU! I BELIEVE IN YOU. I will use my little corner of the world to always be a place you never have to wonder if anyone is for you. You are loved!