Please God before person

January 27, 2010 | 9 comments

Have you ever been rejected or betrayed by someone you thought was a friend?

It’s happened to me more than once. And it’s given me great agony in the past, because I didn’t understand why another person that I treated kindly and generously would turn on me and treat me cruelly.

One day, I finally found peace about being rejected when I realized, “It’s okay to not be liked by everyone.” Whew! It took me a while to understand this truth because I’d always tried to be friends with about everyone and expected they’d be friends back. But alas, this is not how many relationships turn out….

Jesus certainly wasn’t liked by many. He tried his very best to love everyone and be kind and generous to them. But many of the people he gave his life for turned against him and even reviled him. They didn’t get it. They didn’t understand his love and the significance of it. Their ignorance and blind hate deprived them of the spiritual benefit that could have been theirs. They made up their minds that they were not friends of Jesus, didn’t want to be, and they made their contempt known.

If such treatment befell Jesus, the most loving person to walk the globe, then we should not be bothered or concerned if we encounter similar treatment. Rejection is not an attitude to look forward to facing, or take pride in experiencing, but it does come with the territory, one might say, of living true to ideals. Not everyone is going to understand another person’s ideals and want to embrace them.

The world is often not a friendly place. There are millions of points of view, and many of these different perspectives are a long way from living, expressing and returning love. When we encounter this type of thought, we must not fall to a low level and return hate for hate, but keep on loving even when it is not returned in kind.

So, if another doesn’t want to warm up to you and be a friend, even though you wouldn’t mind if they were your friend, don’t let it get to you. Don’t let it bother you. Let the dismay go and keep on loving them anyway without expecting anything in return.

Love is a non-conditional activity. It doesn’t think about what it’s going to get. It just gives.

Those ready to receive, open up thought and arms to love shared and they may even become good friends! And for those who withhold their approval or react negatively toward our friendliness for whatever reason, we can keep on loving anyway. It’s not so important to please others, as to please God. And we please God by living God-like.

9 thoughts on “Please God before person”

  1. I wish the article had given advice to those who betray friendships instead of how to deal with being betrayed. The old cliches don’t work. How is someone supposed to learn to love more consistently instead of seeing imperfection in others and not treating them nicely because of this tendency?

  2. Thanks, Evan. It helps to know that others have dealt with this, and transcended it. I like to remember that sometimes you have to ‘shake the dust from your feet” and leave.

  3. Hi Bob,

    Sounds like you have an idea for a whole other blog!

    We often see in others what we behold in ourselves. As you learn to truly love yourself, to love that precious, valuable, worthy man you are in God’s eyes, it’s easier to love others the same.

    You are a good person and have much good to share. Share your love and goodwill freely and abundantly without letting fear mess up the giving.

  4. thanks for this topic Evan. i’m trying to learn to be happy and loving regardless of others’ approval or support. a less personal sense of friendships.

  5. Sometimes rejection and misunderstanding are felt in the place we least expect it – in church. Right where and when we are specifically remembering and celebrating Jesus’ loving example. Bob mentions that it may be the person being betrayed or rejected who needs the advice. But it helps to know that unspoken loving has its effect. I’ve had people I didn’t even know were feeling unkindly toward me apologize many years later. The rejecter and the betrayer feel the effect of a bitter sense – but always, and better still, feel the effect of our loving.

  6. I’ve “been there” a number of times, too, and found it so frustrating until a dear friend shared a most helpful thought: You are not responsible for other people’s experiences. And other people are not responsible for your experience. Let go of any sense of responsibilty on your part to fix things, trusting that our Father-Mother God is taking care of everyone perfectly, for we all belong to Him. It is Love that determines and identifies us, not people or situations.

  7. The following verse might be an appropriate tag line for this article: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Cor. 1:3-4).

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