Romans 12:18: If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
I’ve been meaning to write this article for a while, but I just didn’t seem to get my thoughts together. Yesterday I attended a great sermon in Duncanville, and after that the right words just came to me. I guess it was the missing puzzle piece to my article. A couple of weeks ago, while I was checking out one of the customers, we somehow ended up talking about God and the Bible. When I was done ringing him up, on his way out he took off a bracelet that he was wearing and gave it to me. Later that night I attended Friday Night Focus, a worship service that UTD FOCUS holds every Friday night. A girl whom I had never met noticed my bracelet and asked me if I was part of “Time to Revive”. I didn’t know anything about the organization at that time. She explained to me what the bracelet was and what it meant. Time to revive is basically an organization that is working on bringing different churches and different denominations together to form one body. Long story short I attended one of their services yesterday and I was amazed by what I saw. I was even more amazed to find out that the guy who had given me the bracelet at work is the founder of the organization. He gave a great sermon on unity, and since then I’ve been feeling the urge to write about unity and understanding each other. I hope ya’ll get something from this.
I don’t know if it’s just me but it has occurred to me that nowadays, especially in my generation, people find it cool to not care about other people. People view it as an achievement to cut people off. I see a lot of people bragging on social media about how many people they’ve cut off in their lives or how many friends they’ve lost etc. It’s become the new norm. Then the same people complain about how they don’t have friends and no one cares about them. Why is that? What is so cool about watching people you love walk away or what’s cool about completely cutting off people who care about you all because you’re too proud to sit down and have a conversation? I see this even in the older generations.
I used to be the one to just cut people off without even trying to understand them. I took so much pride in being tough. I looked so put together, but inside my heart was burning. My heart was filled with so much anger and pain that I had experienced from people I once cared about and I was once close to. It came to a point where I couldn’t take it anymore. I came from class one day, locked myself in the closet, balled my eyes out and literally begged God to take that feeling away. God showed me that I needed to learn how to forgive and accept people the way they are. On my 22nd birthday, God put it in my heart to do something different. I picked up my phone and called the people who I had cut off just to ask how they were doing. It was the best feeling ever. Out of everything I got for my birthday, I think learning what it meant to forgive people and the feeling of freedom was the best gift I got. Now don’t get me wrong, there are some cases where it is necessary to cut off contact completely with certain people, but in most cases a little tension can be fixed with a simple conversation.
We’re all different. God created us that way. We have different cultures, different beliefs, different dreams, and most importantly my favorite one, we all have different maturity levels. Age does not determine maturity; that’s a huge lesson I’ve learned. Some of us mature faster than others. The same God who made us all different expects all of us to get along. The best way to do that I‘ve discovered is just to accept people the way they are, and allow them to grow at their own pace. You can’t expect too much from people who don’t have much to offer. Some people will always believe their lies and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. Don’t expect too much from people then get mad when they don’t give you what you want. There’s no way you can expect a cow to produce goat milk.
I’ve learned from interacting with a lot of people that it is good to study people and know where to place them in your life. Listen more, watch how they behave, how they respond when there’s a disagreement, how they behave when you say no to them, how consistent they are with communication, how understanding they are, how the treat you when they help you with something, and how often they keep their word or follow up with a commitment. You don’t have to be enemies with everyone. I’m a straight forward and blunt person, but I’ve learned that some people don’t like to hear the truth, so I talk to them about topics that are not too sensitive when I see them. I’ve learned that some people are just not good at stating how they feel, instead they’d rather do something to try to make you feel how they are feeling. People like that I ignore. Some people don’t want to get off their comfort zone, so I let them stay comfortable where they are. Some people would do/say anything to get themselves out of being honest, so I don’t ever expect honesty from them. Some people are not independent thinkers, so I let them move with the crowd. Some people think everything's a competition. I love to keep myself at a level 10, but I also love to lift up and support girls who are around me. Even with that I’ve learned that some girls will still try to find one way or another to make me look like a bad person. It used to hurt me, but nowadays I just watch and move on because I know there is nothing I can do about it. Some people have different priorities. Some people don’t value integrity, and Some people simply just grew up differently.
It’s important to know exactly what you want and how you want your friendships and relationships to look like. What are your values? You don’t have to lower your standards, you just need to learn where to place people in your life. If you’ve known someone for a very long time, and they have been a certain way ever since you met them. Don’t be the one to get angry at them over the same thing every time. Simply know where to place them and how much to invest or better yet pray for that person. It’s a waste of time to try to get people to do what you want, just accept them the way they are. We’re all, in different ways, trying to figure out life. I’m a very social person; I meet different people everyday. As an entrepreneur, I get the opportunity to interact with a lot of different personalities. I don’t hang around with the same people every time. I do however have a few friends whom I’ve known long term and I consider them my confidants. These are people I don’t talk to often, but when I do it is always a good time; no drama. I always try my best to try to get to know new people, and for the ones I do know, I know exactly how far to go with each one.
God created us all differently, but he also created people whom we are compatible with and naturally flow with. Learn yourself and quit trying to change yourself to fit in with others. You’ll attract those that you’re compatible with. Then accept everyone else the way they are, quit trying to change people. Do your part in building unity.