Okay, I know you're scrunching up your forehead with a, "Huh? Doesn't everyone?"
And you're right. Probably 99.9% of the population does want to be liked. The other 0.1% pretends they don't.
But I realized that I've curtailed my actions, kept silent at times, and laughed at stupid comments, all in an effort to please people into liking me.
Sometimes it was out of fear that I'd be wrong. That I'd say something that others didn't agree with.
I didn't want to be on one side of the fence with everyone on the other staring at me in stupefaction.
Because the message I grew up believing, was that there is always a right and a wrong way of believing / thinking / acting and you better figure it out quick.
And piggybacking that notion was the certainty that being wrong would diminish your value.
So I'd strive not to be wrong at all costs. This translated into a lifetime of trying to become what I thought others wanted me to be.
The sad result was that others didn't get to know the real me, just the me I thought they'd like. My smoke and mirrors act didn't give them the opportunity to embrace the real me.
The me that God designed me to be.
Fortunately, God has placed us on a journey where He can take those mixed-up moments and half-baked fears and infuse them with his truth to transform our thinking.
He wants to expose the weakness and flaws and lead us onto his path of peace, where mistakes are not to be feared and hidden, but exposed and learned from. Not a source of shame, but a stepping stone to move us closer to him.
I don't know about you, but His is the hand I want to hold as I jump from stone to stone.