All The People Who Dislike Us
by Bryan J. Neva, Sr.
Don't worry about all the people who dislike us; concentrate on God who loves us!
People are quite fickle; one day they're our friends, and the next day they're our enemies. And if we dwell on it too much, it’s quite natural to start questioning ourselves by asking, “What did I do wrong?” or “Did I say something wrong?” So we have to remind ourselves that we’re all a work-in-progress; there’s nobody who’s perfect; and anyone who starts judging others doesn’t have the humility to see their own faults. Jesus taught this, “Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye?” (Luke 6:41). You could be the best human being in the world, and there will still be those who dislike you. You're never going to "like" everyone and not everyone is going to "like" you. We live in a broken world where hate lives alongside of love.
So we should try not to worry about all the people who dislike us; rather, we should concentrate on God who loves us! God brings people in and out of our lives all the time: some for our encouragement, some to try our patience and test us, and others, quite frankly, to build our characters. It's quite rare to find a true and devoted friend who'll stick by us through thick and thin.
Personally, I try to completely trust God and not people in everything I do and say. It gives me great peace-of-mind when I put God first, others second, and myself third. I try as much as I’m able to be patient, humble of heart, and forgiving of others. I try to trust in God completely and not in myself or others. Because it's simply NOT possible to please everyone; but it IS possible to please God. The only way we can get most people to like us is to do nothing, to say nothing, and to be nothing! But then we’d not longer be the unique human beings that God created us to be. We wouldn't be able to become the best version of ourselves.
It's also important to remember that it really doesn't matter whether or not others LIKE you or how they treat you, but whether or not YOU LIKE YOURSELF and how YOU treat others! You're your own worst critic, so if you're happy with who YOU are then that's all that really matters. There are many reasons for other people's unfriendly or unkind behavior. You can only try to positively influence others, but you can't control others! How others behave is ultimately their responsibility, not yours! YOU are only responsible for YOUR behavior, NOT other people's behavior.
Think about this, Jesus was the perfect human being and what did the world do to him? Jesus even warned his disciples, "If the world hates you, remember the world hated me first. If people did wrong to me then they'll do wrong to you too." (John 15:18, 20). St. John wrote, "Don't be surprised if the world hates you!" (1 John 3:13). And St. Paul wrote, "Indeed, all who want to live good and righteous lives...will be persecuted." (2 Tim 3:12).
For many and varied reasons people, in general, dislike people who strive to live good and decent lives. It's counterintuitive, but it's quite true. The old cliché, "no good deed goes unpunished" is quite true. It amazes me how many politicians, entertainers, famous, and wealthy people who live sinful lives are venerated as secular saints. Jesus warned of this too, "If you belonged to the world, the world would love you." (John 15:19).
People will reject you, betray you, abandon you, and mistreat you; don't treat them the same way: just forgive them and continue to love them as Jesus described in his Sermon on the Mount in in Matthew chapters 5-7 and St. Paul described in I Corinthians chapter 13. So if others are unfriendly, rude, hateful, or disrespectful to you, then return love, kindness, blessings, and prayers instead. When our lives are over, it really won't matter how many friends we had, but whether or not we were a friend to others (especially to those who are society’s outcasts).
I think Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta said it best:
People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered; forgive them anyway.
If you are kind people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives; be kind anyway.
If you are successful you will win some false friends and some true enemies; succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget about tomorrow; do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough; give the world the best you've got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis it is between you and God; it was never between you and them anyway.