As a young preacher and youth leader, so many people disliked me and disapproved of me especially with regards to my understanding of the Bible. Why exactly did they hate me? Some said I teach with so much conviction as if I know everything, others disliked me for the fact that I was young; they wondered what I would be teaching others without. Many disliked me because I don’t teach what they teach or act the way they do and the older ones disliked me so much because in their words, whatever was happening to me then was “youthful exuberance.” The shocking thing was that some disliked me just because certain people liked me. I might say the best thing that happened to me was ignoring their dislike and embracing the truth that God loves me regardless.
Have you ever found yourself in that situation where it seems everyone is against you, where it seems you must put double effort to be appreciated? Do you want to find a way to get everyone to like you? Do you need that one formula that would make everyone agree with you, appreciate you and desire you? Well, I have got one answer and that answer is the final… Such formula doesn’t exist! The earlier you accept and enjoy the privilege of everyone not liking you, the better for you.
An unknown person once said, “If your number one goal is to make sure that everyone likes and approves of you, then you risk sacrificing your uniqueness, and, therefore, your excellence.” You don’t need to be a man “of the people” in the sense that you live your life trying to please everyone. When you understand this, you will not feel bad that everyone doesn’t like you. One sign that one might never be successful is if he is loved by everyone. Everyone may love your charity if you decide to reach out to everyone but they may never like your person. In fact, that you shared gift on a Friday could be another reason to be disliked by those who would prefer gifts to be shared on Monday.
Sometimes people can dislike you for just no reason. There are those who dislike you at first sight but gradually begin to like you with time. I met a lady at a restaurant and we talked, she follows me on social media. We had talked for a long time when she said to me “well, I have always disliked you for a reason I don’t know. I and my sister would always talk about how we don’t like you but meeting you today changed everything!” She said and I responded jokingly “wow! Hope that now you’ve liked me, I can still be a popular subject at home?”
A young man once showed me a fellow he wanted me to be like. He felt I was too loud and a bit free than reserved and I told him “Ah! No, it is madness to take up the form of someone else. He was designed to function that way and I was designed to function my way.” When you see people who seem to be everyone’s favourite, don’t envy them or try becoming like them because you cannot truly see that heart of those who claim to love him. It is only in the uniqueness and originality of your personality that you can live out your best.
That a car looks so nice doesn’t mean it can drive through every place. And that a certain car drives through the forest don’t make it better than the other which drives well on a smooth surface because both of them were designed for specific purposes. As great as some racing-sports cars are, they aren’t good for normal use. So, why try taking up the character of another person when you’ve got your own life to live? Do you know that so many people you envy for what they appear like also envy you for what you appear like? When you are praying to be like someone else, that person is praying to be like you! Nobody has it all and we must learn to appreciate God for the one we have.
The first step to winning is looking forward and never allowing the things that don’t concern you distract you. Do you know that it is not your business to start monitoring who doesn’t like you? Do you know that of all your concerns in life, looking for who doesn’t like you shouldn’t be a part? Until you understand that God made you the way you are, you might continue fidgeting about and pleasing every dick and harry just to feel loved. I always tell people that I don’t want to be like any great man! I will be the “great me” God has designed.
Be different! Love should be practised unconditionally. You don’t have to like that person so much to extend love to him or her and they don’t have to like you for you to like or love them. Whenever you sense the need for your attention and support, give it to them. I realized I feel happier helping those who don’t like me not to win their heart but because I believe I am different. Next time someone tells you “I don’t like you” smile and reply to him or her “thanks! That’s good to hear.”
God bless you.
~ George O.N