I heard Andy Stanley say this in a sermon. The thought is simple, but it is quite thought-provoking.
IF PEOPLE DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE REALLY LIKE, THEY DON'T REALLY LIKE YOU.
We all want to be liked. So, in an effort to be liked, we, often times, hide things about ourselves that we believe aren't likable. The problem is, because we aren't being fully honest, the version of us that people ending up knowing and liking is a false, "cleaned-up" version of ourselves. In other words...
When you lie about who you are, people don't end up liking you, they end liking who they think you are.
What a tragedy. If you are liked yet unknown, who are people really liking?
For many years I have labored (I use this word because it hasn't been easy. It's always uncomfortable and many times embarrassing.) to live a life that is quick to reveal the most shameful, regretful, and unattractive things about who I am. I've done this for many reasons, but here are a few that quickly come to mind:
- I want to be free - pretending is a heavy burden to carry.
- I want to be healed - you can't receive healing for what you won't confess.
- I want to be trusted - people are typically only as honest with you as you are with them.
But after hearing Andy Stanley say what he said, there is another benefit to living an honest life before others...
I CAN BE SURE THAT THE PEOPLE WHO LOVE ME, LOVE ME.
If you find yourself dissatisfied with people liking a version of yourself that isn't real, I encourage you to open yourself up, in a real way, to someone you can trust. If they still like you afterwards, you can be rewarded with the joy of knowing they actually like you! If they don't like you afterwards, they will be exposed for never liking you in the first place! Better to find out sooner than later!