I have two questions for you. One: what’s the best compliment you’ve ever been given? The gal with the prettiest hair? The hardest worker? The healthiest eater?
Question two: What’s the worst – but maybe still kind of true – thing someone has said about you?
It’s easier to come up with the insults than the compliments, right? That’s how it was for me. My favorite compliment was from a friend in college who called me the kindest person he knew. I work really hard at that, and I was so elated to see someone notice. As for snubs against me, I can think of a bunch. Some of those names were more hurtful than others, but my therapist taught me that those insults say more about the person who’s talking instead of the person who’s on the receiving end.
Still, I can’t help but look for a grain of truth in those insults. I try to look at it as an opportunity to improve. So last weekend when I attended a wedding, I thought it’d be all fun and marriage ceremony and dancing with friends. I didn’t think I’d be presented with an opportunity to turn inwards and reflect on myself.
At said wedding, I met a girl who lives in the same city as my boyfriend’s almost brother-in-law, and I wanted to talk to her about that to see if she knew his family. Actually, let me pause here for a moment. How do you even explain that phrase? My boyfriend’s almost brother-in-law? My boyfriend’s sister’s fiance? My friend? Acquaintance? Like…what?
So I called my boyfriend’s almost brother-in-law.. my brother-in-law. Part of it was laziness, part of it was confusion around what to call this guy, and part of it was wanting to spit out my sentence as quickly as possible to keep the conversation going.
Another friend- let’s call him Gary- rolled his eyes and said, “That’s pretty presumptuous of you… thinking you and your boyfriend are going to be together forever and all.” And I laughed it off because, well, what else do you do? Gary had just recently had his heart mega-broken and was probably cynical, I thought to myself.
And I joked about something later, something related to my boyfriend again. And Gary, again within earshot, reminded me how audacious this was.
“I’m sorry… this probably makes you uncomfortable,” I said, referring to Gary’s recent broken heart.
“No,” he said, “You just sound crazy.”
Crazy? Crazy! Crazy. Maybe I was? Maybe I shouldn’t call my boyfriend’s almost brother-in-law MY brother-in-law. Maybe I shouldn’t think too far ahead into the future.
There are seeds of truth in that sentence. I shouldn’t look so far ahead, and I struggle with this. I need to stay in my lane and stop looking forward to a season I’m not in right now.
But you know what I think is crazy, guys? Gary, who thought I was weird, had no problem telling me- and all his friends- about a gal he’d been sleeping with for six months and had no intention of dating, let alone marrying. I couldn’t tell if I was more disgusted with his openness about this, or the fact that I know too many people who do the same thing and think this is a totally normal approach to love and intimacy.
Gary thinks I’m crazy for valuing commitment. I think he’s crazy for cheapening it.
Now, I’m fairly certain I’m in the minority for having an opinion like this in 2016, but I don’t mind. If this is ‘weird’, I don’t want to be ‘normal’. God calls us “chosen” (1 Peter 2:9) and “set apart” (Deuteronomy 14:2). What God says about me means more than what my peers say.
What I want is to follow Christ and walk with Him as closely as possible. I want to embrace ‘weird’ and ‘radical’ and ‘strange’ if it means I’m doing my best as a Christian and maturing spiritually. I’m a sinner by nature: I make mistakes, I say the wrong things, I hurt others’ feelings, and I turn my back on God more often than I’d care to admit. But that’s the beauty of the Gospel. Jesus came to save me from my sins and bring me back to Him, day after day after day.
And I know I’m not saved by works, but my conscientious self feels the need to add that I wake up every day determined to do my best, and I pray that God sees that.
So call me weird if you want to. I’m waiting on what Jesus says about me when it’s my turn to enter His kingdom. And I’m going to compliment everyone I can on my way there.
Do you struggle with loving yourself? With beating yourself up when you’re just trying to do your best? Are you wanting to live a more wholehearted life? Click here to fill out a Google form and set up a free 30 minute awareness call with me to see if coaching is for you!