Many people think I am nice. You know, because I am Christian, they feel I ought to be nice, friendly and agreeable. And the fact that I am charitable and compassionate magnifies the perception that I am naive, easy and a push over.
Resisting other people’s urge to control me and dictate my behaviour has become a part of my character, as a defence mechanism to this view that I am nice. So, though I will not be rude nor aggressive, people who push my buttons soon learn that I am a fighter and I am strong-willed. The only thing I give myself to be controlled by is the Spirit of God.
Even still, I’ve found that most of the people who try to manipulate and control me are fellow Christians… Usually those who feel superior in the Faith or feel they have some sort of power over me because I chose to follow their leadership at one point or the other. I find that they make it hard for one to disagree with them. And when I want to defend my perspective or express my opinions around or to such people, I get anxious… shaky… sweaty… and panicky, because I don’t want to rock the boat. I don’t want to offend, and I definitely don’t want to go against the Spirit, which they always claim to represent.
However, the times that I have been bold enough to say no and resist their manipulation, it has always ended our fellowship. As in, we can’t be friends anymore. Not because I don’t want to be, but because I was bold enough to disagree with them or disobey them, then I cease to be the Christian that they know. This is emotional abuse and manipulation, and it’s terrible that it is named among Christians!
Every one knows that friendship is built on diversity, as well as similarities. Friends argue, disagree, make-up, agree to disagree, share a fundamental belief and respect for each other’s opinions and differences. True friends don’t fall out because of trivial disagreements. Why should Christian brothers and sisters fall out over such things? Why is there no room or tolerance for a difference of opinion? Why the demand for absolute power and control over your brother and sister in Christ, just so you can be assured that you’re always right?
I don’t wish to be popular so much that I will try to please everyone. I know I will fail and end up pleasing no one, primarily God, who is the only One I truly live to please. If you’re my Christian brother or sister, and we’ve fallen out, know that I have not and will never shut the door to reconciliation. The truth is that I’ve probably spent energy trying to resolve the issue, but maybe you feel you don’t know me anymore because I am not the nice girl you thought I was.
Truth is I am not nice. I am not even friendly. I am very anti-social, with basic social skills developed out of necessity to get on with others. I love my few friends. They are my family. Anyone who is still my friend has had a disagreement with me at least once, and we’re stronger for it.
So we can be friends, but you can’t be afraid to disagree. If that is you, then I believe you’re fake and lying to yourself, because you don’t really know who you are or what you believe. Jesus isn’t a nice guy. The Truth is not nice. We are not called to be nice. We are called to defend the Truth and abide in Love. May God help us to mature in all our relationships and experience true friendship and fellowship, amen!
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