The results of this study didn’t surprise me. I’ve had plenty of experience with the heartache of learning that “friends” didn’t think as much of me as I thought of them. Heck, it’s happened twice in the past year! The Lord has been on a pruning spree when it comes to the people in my life, and there were two who walked away willingly that shocked me. Something changed with each of them and I saw quickly that it was for the best to accept it, but it was still a surprise. I didn’t need a study to tell me what I’ve personally experienced in life, over and over again.
What surprised me was how many people on social media were surprised when I posted it last weekend. Obviously, the people in your life are much kinder than the people of mine. Then again, there’s always been something about me that draws out true character. My grandmother had an uncanny ability to detect a snake upon first impression. It seems that’s evolved to an ability to exorcise the demons driving people in me. I don’t know why, but there’s something about me that rips the mask right off of people. If their motives aren’t right or if they turn, then it usually comes to light quickly.
I suppose I should be thankful for this gift of truth in my life. Sure, my circle is small, and not having the “favor of man” puts me at a disadvantage in many ways. I’m not one of those charming, charismatic people that people love for no reason. People don’t swarm to me and want to do me favors and help me out. But you know what? I know that what I have is real, and I have gratitude for it every day, so it continues to grow. The favor of God is eternal. The favor of man is fickle. Folks, I'm a middle age woman. I don't have time for fickle things!
We are poor judges of character. I heard on my managing stress course recently that a big problem is that we assume we know what others are thinking, and we’re often wrong. Why? Because we assume people are acting rationally, but in reality, none of us act rationally most of the time. I think this study proves that we’d be better off if we quit spending time on such assumptions. In fact, it goes beyond that. We’d be better off if we quit focusing on what we think other people should be doing for us and start focusing on what we can do for the people around us. We should treat all people well, regardless of relationship. Our focus should be on being the best person we can be to everybody we cross paths with in life. That’s what a truly successful and joyful life is built on: not a friend count, but the reality of being authentic and living your purpose in the Lord. What other people think, say, or do is a 100% reflection on them and a 0% reflection on you. Proverbs 17:17 says "a friend loves at all times," so set an example by demonstrating equal love to everybody. Whether or not they return it is up to them. At least you can relax in knowing that you're sowing your best, and will eventually reap the best in return. Truth will show, and that truth will give you joy that lasts.
Besides, it's not our business what others think of us. Our business is to walk with the Lord in obedience, trust, and love. He will take care of everything else.
That’s all today. Take care, and have a great week.