Part of the art of living a fulfilled life is learning how to handle diverse personalities. In any room of 20 people, there will always be a Mr Grumpy and a Mrs Awkward – people who stretch your patience and challenge your temperament. That’s just life. There will never be a time when 100% of the people in the room are easy to work with. If Jesus had challenging people in his life, then you can expect them too. So cheer up!
Some people think the solution to an easier life is to hide away from friendships. So they become insular & isolated in order to protect themselves from the hurt that relationships can sometimes cause. However it’s a false security. The long term price you pay for isolation is far, far greater than any short term pain you might occasionally experience in community. No-one was ever meant to do life alone. God certainly never intended it. Whatever their flaws, life is all about how we interact with other people. If you really want to get anywhere or achieve anything, it is your capacity to handle the diversity of personalities that will determine how far you can ever go.
Only in community do we learn to love, forgive, show grace, be patient and move on. These things simply can’t be formed in isolation. You will NEVER learn to love others by being on your own. Doing life in community is risky. Sure it is. There’s always the potential for things to go wrong. It’s not that people might mess up – they WILL mess up. It’s inevitable. That’s people for you. Hey…they’re just like you!! But that’s where we really learn how to do life well.
In the end though, we tend to get what we attract. In other words, the people who are drawn TO you are a reflection OF you. This is where it gets sobering. If negative people feel comfortable around you, this is a statement about you. If whingers & gossipers enjoy your company, this too is a reflection of you. Brutal…but true. If positive, go-getting, passionate people love being around you, then that’s generally because this is a reflection of who you are. You get what you attract.
So how can you attract great people into your life? How can you surround yourself with the kind of people who will propel you forward instead of hold you back? The answer is simple. You’ve got to BE the person you want others to be to you. Want more encouragers in your life? BE a great encourager. Want more people who refresh you? BE the kind of person who refreshes others. Want more positive friends? BE a positive friend. The list goes on.
Don’t wait for great friends. BE a great friend. In the end, you’ll get what you attract.