I was 13 and it was high time I start finding a group of people to dress like, act like, be attracted to and be attractive to. I had to pick my style of clothes and personality type. I had to in order to fit in and feel accepted. There were so many people to act like though, how could I choose?
My choices were limited but looked a little bit like this: There were the nerdy media kids who have their perks, the cool fashionable wanna be model people which was a pricy group to join but worth it (or so I had heard), the hipsters with their weird but different ways, and then there were the athletes, fit, strong, beautiful and healthy, and last but not least, the regular people who really didn’t have a category or niche to fit into-they did all sorts of different things.
But on top of choosing a people/fashion type I needed to figure out how I could fit in but make an impression and have a unique style all of my own so that I could stand out! The pressure became unbearable. I avoided the popular demand of trying to fit in for several years with my friends and sort of faded into the background to observe for a while. Slowly I tried different fashion styles and lifestyles. I quickly cut out the athlete and media geek (not my thing!) and tried so hard to be the popular cute girl who had many talents and abilities.
After years and years of trying to find my niche and my “own style” I grew tired. I was tired of people and tired of friends. I was tired of trying and I just wanted to give up, live on an island by myself, throw my phone away and drink out of a coconut for the rest of my life! (Sounds a bit extreme, I know)
But not till just recently did God restore my hope in finding friends, meeting new people and embracing the rich lifestyle He so graciously gave me. No, we are not rich in wealth. We are rich in joy, family and a powerful relationship with Jesus Christ.
I realized by focusing on me I was missing out on others. When we struggle with our problems we are thinking about #1 and what we can get from our friends and how they make us feel. We forget about the word society. Let’s get the old fashioned Noah Webster dictionary definition for that.
Society: The union of a number of persons being united either for a temporary or permanent purpose. 2.Company; fellowship. We frequent the society of those we love and esteem. Partnership; union on equal terms.
If we love and esteem our friends we wouldn’t be worried about what they think or say of us. We are content to simply know that we are friends and care for one another. It’s all in your mindset. If you leave your house expecting to impress your friends and make yourself feel better by doing so, you have the wrong idea about society and fellowship. If you leave however, with the thought close in mind that you are an individual created in the image of God and knowing that the same is true of your friends you will have a peace that comes from knowing your worth in God and that your friend’s worth is just as valuable.
This enables us to take our minds off of what we desire out of friendship and helps us focus on others. Their value to God is worth just as much as yours. We can fellowship with selfless reasons because of this. Knowing that when you walk through the door you are uniquely created in God’s image (instead of a worldly image of yourself) and thinking the same about your friends you will be freed from the selfish mindset that only gains joy from being accepted and valued by people and allows you to bless and enjoy the company of others.
I love this simple yet profound quote by Mahatma Gandhi:
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
Stop trying to fit in and stand out. Jesus wants more than cultural popularity from you. He wants a servant that He can use for His glory. He wants to use you for others. Won’t you surrender and give yourself over to God’s vision for you?
Mark 10:45 says, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
And Philippians 2:5-7 says this, “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.”
It’s easy to want to just have a fun time when you go to hang out with friends. But don’t miss out on the opportunity of exemplifying Christ to your friends. Who knows what they might need to hear or see from you that day?
Good luck and God bless,
(Image Source: weheartit )