"I have, in short, become all things to all men, that I might by all means, at all costs, and in any and every way, save some, by winning them to faith in Jesus Christ."
That's just how I am!
Sound familiar? Is this a phrase you use quite frequently to get people off your back?
Is it supposed to "soften" people into realizing that you are a bit different? How does it sound when you read it? Do you want to reach out and comfort that person? Of course not!
Some people are quiet and shy, and more laid-back because of their personalities. I am more of an in-your-face-person who likes to get to end of the means quickly and without more chatter. I moved down to Florida thirty years ago in that same frame of mind from Philadelphia.
And, I can tell you the transition was not easy. I was admonished daily for my "rough" exterior. This inhibited me from making lasting friendships for awhile because the people that were new in my life were not in-your-face we got it type-of-people. I had to change or be the "one man out" for the rest of my days on the beach side.
I tried to relate and gain sympathy by saying, "But that's how I am! I'm from Philly and we are a bit different." But that didn't gain any understanding. People thought of me as rash and quick-witted, but extremely annoying. I had to change to fit into this new place. I had to compromise. I had to stop finishing sentences for people and open up my ears and just listen.
It worked because I compromised.
We must work with God to find the balance between being who we are and not excusing unloving behavior by saying, "That is just the way I am." God is in the business of changing us into his image, and that means He helps us contort our weaknesses and he uses our strengths.
We can make ourselves very miserable and have stress-filled lives by never being willing to change or adapt. We are all different, but we can get along peacefully if we are willing.
This Week's Meditation:
What areas of your life do emotions rule?
Help me to realize when I'm being a jerk.
Teach me to close the door to my feelings when this happens.
Remind me to read your word each day, Lord.
Meditate on this for several minutes a day. Allow various thoughts to come into your mind. And realize God has you in his arms always.