I had a conversation this week with someone who told me that she respects me a lot. Later in the same conversation, she added that my personality is intimidating and she often doesn’t communicate her feelings on certain issues to avoid conflict and/or being shut down.
I have always been aware of the strength of my personality. I am even aware of how negatively that strength has been perceived. When I was in the world, it was actually a tactic I used to keep folks from getting too close to hurt me. So if people felt intimidated by me back then, it was actually an honor because in my mind, you don’t feel like you have any power over me AND you’re too shook to even attempt to try me. Fast forward to the conversation I mentioned above:
Her feelings shocked me. Since I’ve been saved, not once have I been approached with the big, bad, “I” word. I remember 5-years ago taking a list of my sins & flawed sin-nature to the altar, along with my desire for God to save me. God freed me that day and freed me from using the i-Word as a way to keep people from getting to close. Since then, God has shown me that a strong-personality is not the enemy. In actuality, its of true value to the Kingdom. In terms of witnessing and not backing down with regards to my faith, an assertive nature is pleasing to God. The world is outspoken about what they believe. God needs us to be equally as confident in Him & His word to be a vessel to lead people down the right path. In the Bible, Apostle Paul always spoke with confidence. He spoke the truth at all costs… or at least HIS PERCEPTION of the truth, because it was that important to him to say what he believed…even in the presence of a mob of folks who wanted his head. I will be BOLD & FABULOUS indeed!!!
I sincerely apologized to her for having offended her, and explained to her the intent of my heart, which is to honor God and not discourage her in any way. In speaking with her further, I found that her issues weren’t necessarily with me, but within herself. Never once in my knowing this person has her disagreeing with me (or vice-versa) ever caused an argument, tension, bitterness, or a grudge. As she expressed a tremendous respect for me, the feeling was very mutual. But some people operate in a place of often not taking full responsibility for their own lack (in whatever area of their personality or their lives in general); I guess for some, that makes the reality a lot easier to deal with… it’s not me ITS YOU! Be sensitive to the feelings of others, but never allow other’s insecurities to dictate your actions.
I have several final points with regards to this topic.
1) No one should ever be given power over your choices. Only God should hold that ability in your life.
2) You should never allow someone else’s personality to be your reason or excuse for not standing up for something you believe in.
3) Disagreements are not always arguments. I’d venture to say that they USUALLY AREN’T!!
4) Perception is everything. What one person considers an attack, the next person can receive, appreciate, and apply accordingly.
5) Try being an eternal optimist, especially YOU believer. When you do that, you tend to believe in the heart of a fellow believer1st, before thinking negative.
I will leave you with a few scriptures that are on my heart regarding this subject:
Philippians 2:4 — Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.
2Corinthians 4:13 — It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.”
2Corinthians 5:17 — Anyone who is joined to Christ is a new being; the old is gone, the new has come.
James 1:19 — Let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger.
Proverbs 16:18 — Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
Jeremiah 6:16 — Stand at the crossroads & look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, & walk in it, & you will find rest for your souls.
**Wednesdays w/ iNDIGO**