Thursday, May 31, 2012

Pleasing Who?

I have a tendency to worry about what people think of me.  Now, I think it's good to think twice before we say anything, and that goes for messages and emails, too ("Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger." ~James 1:19), but as with most things in life, we can go way overboard in this.

But then I've been thinking about Josh (go figure), and why he was so special to each of us who knew him.  Why is it that his life is so inspiring to us?  Why do each of us want to be just like him?  Why are we comparing everything we do with how Josh would have done it, or would have wanted us to do it?  No, we shouldn't be worshiping Josh or placing him on a pedestal.  He certainly wasn't perfect; he had plenty of flaws, but we can definitely be learning from his example.

Josh was so transparent.  This is only one of the reasons we all want to be more like him, but it's huge.  He was one of the most honest people I've ever met, but somehow he knew how to say things, honest things that might be hard to hear, in a way that people would receive them.  He spoke the truth in love.  He shared his feelings freely.  He didn't hide things from people just because they may have thought he was being too outgoing.

I was praying about this a few nights ago, and then I opened my Bible up.  I realized I had just finished the book I had been reading previously, and hadn't decided on the next one to read, but I felt the urge to turn a couple of pages to the right, which turned out to be Galatians.

Wow.  I love that God directed me to read this very passage.

I am concerned about what others think of me.  I don't want people thinking I'm not acting properly, or that I'm not doing what I ought to do.  I never used to talk to guys very much, because I was concerned that people might think I was being overly...outgoing?  (I'm trying to be as tactful as I can here...)

But I've noticed, since Josh passed away,

since I've been paying attention to the still, small voice of God more closely,

since I've stopped caring so much about what others think,

that God has actually been telling me to go out of my way and talk to people, including guys.

Josh didn't not talk to girls, he talked to them all he time.  He went out of his way to make sure nobody was left out; nobody was in the corner.  How many times have I left someone sitting alone, just because he was a guy and I didn't want people to think things?


Life is so short; so precious, and you never know who may treasure memories of conversations with you when you're no longer here.

If I was never supposed to talk to guys, then why has God been telling me to so frequently?  I never used to listen to that voice, particularly when it was telling me to go talk with a young gentleman, but now that I am, I've been having such great, encouraging conversations with girls and guys alike.

How hard is it to just ask someone how they're doing, and listen to their answer?

I guess I'm just seeing how many times I've not gone and talked to people I ought to have, because I was worried about what other people would think.  I was, "trying to please man."  

The thing is, I've been the person left in the corner before; the person nobody would talk to, and I know how badly that hurts.  So, why would I inflict that on others?

I'm not saying we should say or do whatever pops into our minds.  Please don't misunderstand me.  We do definitely need to be careful about the words we use.

"A Gentle tongue is a tree of life, 
but perverseness in it breaks the spirit."
(Psalm 15:4)

"Death and life are in the power of the tongue, 
and those who love it will eat its fruits."
(Psalm 18:21)

My point is we use these verses to advocate not talking when we ought to.  

I'm just starting not to care what others think of me, and I pray that I never will again.

I don't care if people think I'm too forward because I have one on one conversations with guys.  As a friend of mine once said, "Guys are people, too!"

I don't care if I miss visiting with my friends because someone new needs to be talked to.

I don't think Josh cared, and I don't either.  One step in the right direction.


Over and out,


P.S. I graduated high school on the 22nd!  Post coming soon... 


  1. I love this so much Emily. I can completely relate too..
    I hate seeing people sitting by themselves and looking lonely, because I can't even count the number of times that that's been me. I know exactly how it feels and I wouldn't wish it on my enemies!
    I remember when my brothers and I were at the Olympia Tournament, and I had friends who I could easily fit in with at that point, but it was more difficult for my brother, who spent a lot of his time alone. I remember there was one girl who always made a special effort to go and talk to him, and I thought that was so nice that she would ignore the potential awkwardness to make someone feel welcome.
    I don't usually have a problem talking to or hanging out with guys, I mean most of my friends these days are guys, but seeking them out and making obvious effort is a bit more challenging :P

    Ha, long comment. But I loved this post!

    1. Thanks, Audrey. I'm glad you liked it.

      That's so cool. I love people who always make an effort to include people. What a blessing!

      I guess I don't have a problem talking to my guy friends, but going out of my way to talk to a guy I don't know, or barely know, if where I ignore the voice telling me to talk to him. Arg.

      Hey, long comments are awesome; thanks so much!

  2. Massively inspiring. Josh sounds like an awesome guy. It's amazing how much his death, through all the pain of mourning, has provoked you to act more boldly for Christ and live more radically, love more fiercely because you can see the time pressure there is on life. It has motivated me for sure. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. With love, Sarah

    1. Oh, thank you so much for the sweet comment, Sarah! Yes, I can't even use words to explain how much Josh inspired me (and is still inspiring me), even before he died. He was passionate for the Lord in a way you don't see very often. I pray that my passion grows to be half as extreme as his was.
      God is so faithful to use horrible situations, mourning, sadness, to grow His followers closer to Him, and to help us realize what we are here to do.