What I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older is that not everyone is going to like you. Some people aren’t going to like you because of the way you speak, the way you act, or even the clothes you decide to wear. This is just something that although has never been easy to accept for me, is the truth.
I’ve been made aware that some things have been said about me that aren’t true. Originally, it made me upset because I felt like it would be one thing if I actually did this or if that was truly my character, but it’s not. It made me feel angry at one point because if it’s one thing I didn’t like, it’s hearing things about me, but not having the opportunity to defend myself. It’s seeing the looks, the stares, the snickers from older adults even, but no one coming up to me to clarify anything that they’ve heard or seen. I felt trapped, I felt victimized all over again, and a little upset.
However, the closer I’ve gotten to God, the more I’ve realized a few things when it comes to these situations. I thought I would share some of these with you in the event that you are going through or have gone through something similar.
Only God can judge:
When judgment day comes, it is not going to matter how much you were liked by people, what you were, or how much money you made. All of these things are things that disappear with time. Notoriety and finances will disappear. Chanel bags will disappear. None of these superficial things on earth will matter. With that said, it should not matter what anyone says about me or how they treat me. No one on this earth has the ability, the power, or the authority to say where I am headed. The only thing I can control is myself and how I treat others.
My past mistakes are already forgiven:
Something I’ve noticed as well is that sometimes people enjoy bringing up past offenses or behavior. You may hear someone say, “oh, well I know how you USED to be” or something negative in regards to your past. Well, I have great news for you and for all of us. Once we accept Jesus as our Lord, believe in Him, repent for our sins, they’re forgiven. When we turn to Jesus and repent for our past sins, He’s forgiven us and is already starting to roll out His plan to turn our mistakes into testimonies and successes. We are all sinners. We’ve all made mistakes and I am positive the people that are judging you or criticizing you have made some mistakes as well they would not want getting revealed. This is why when you hear people or the enemy trying to bring up your past, remind yourself of the future that God has planned for you and turn to Jesus. This is has been incredibly helpful for me in dealing with inconsiderate comments, looks, or passive-aggressiveness.
God is in control. Let Him fight your battles:
God is always with you when these things happen. It is not for us to fight people or seek vengeance. While I am not in this space anymore, before I used to get so upset about how this individual was trying to sabotage my life (despite me doing absolutely nothing to deserve that) that I thought about returning the favor. I thought about releasing information that could easily do the same thing to them that was being done to me. But what good would that do? What would that say about the kind of person that I am if I would stoop so low to sabotage someone else’s life just because they did to me? God will avenge for you if He sees fit. He will handle that individual that tried to attack your professional and personal life or revealed personal information about you to others. God doesn’t want us to be passive, but He also wants us to be righteous. If He wants you to do something directly, He’ll tell you. Let Him tell you what He wants you to do.
For example, in my situation, I haven’t done anything and I refuse to do anything. I could’ve released everything, but I have not and I will not. Why? Because I know that God would not want me to fight eye for an eye. In fact, Jesus says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, do not resist the evildoer. But whoever strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other to him as well.” (Matthew 5:38-39). Let God fight and choose your battles. It’s hard, but when people are saying things about you that you know aren’t true, focus on the Lord and remember what Jesus went through. People doubted Him all throughout His ministry, but He never cursed them out or beat them up. As I’ve grown in my walk with Him, I’ve learned that people are going to say and do some mean things, but all you can do is hold on to what is true.
He’s in control — not us. It is not for us to seek revenge. Instead, pray, turn to the Lord, and ask Him for the strength to do what’s next: forgive.
Love and forgive them anyway:
When people are spiteful towards you, one of the best things you can do is love them and forgive them anyway. By doing this, you are not only helping yourself, but you are also glorifying God by doing what He asks all of us to do. One of the greatest commandments is to love others as we love ourselves. Jesus does not say, “love only the people that like you” or “love your friends and family.” Jesus says, “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:40). Anyone can love their friends or family that love them, but it is difficult sometimes to love those that spite you, but we must do it anyway. It’s not easy and it’s not possible for us to do it by our own strength. However, we CAN and we DO accomplish this through Christ. If you’re struggling in this area, I would pray to God and ask for Him to strengthen you. I’m sure we all struggle with this from time to time, but that’s where taking the attention off of ourselves or our own abilities and focusing on Christ helps a lot. Of course we’re not able to do this. If we were able to accomplish these things without Him, Christ would not have had to do what He did for us. This is why it’s important to remind ourselves that we are not able, but God enables us through His power — not ours.