You know what is so hard when you are unassertive? It is hard to find friends that will be a good influence on you. This is because your unassertive nature will attract those that can control you. Those that need that controlling power. You have to be aware that people in your life have the power to help you or hurt you.
This was demonstrated when Jesus returned to preach and work miracles in his hometown. The story in Matthew 13:53-58 begins toward the early stages of Jesus’ ministry and the word was growing quickly about him. He was in the heat of working many miracles and enlightening people about the truths of God. He decided to go to his hometown to continue to preach and heal. Surprisingly, when he did this the people of his hometown were dubious.
They asked each other, “Isn’t this the boy we knew growing up. Isn’t he just a regular guy like the rest of us?” They put labels on him such as carpenter’s son. When he did not fit into their labels they discarded the whole package. They did not like who he said he was because it didn’t fit their expectations of his family or him. In fact, their rejection of him was so strong that he could not do many miracles there. Even Jesus, God in human form, could be influenced negatively by people.
However, he did not let their unbelief stop his ministry. (In fact, in Luke’s version of this story Jesus stands up for himself.) One thing that helped him was having friends that believed in him. Jesus did not have to look far to find friends. He had 12 close ones that stayed with him almost all the time and supported him no matter what the popular opinion was. These positive influences were actually stronger than the negative ones of an entire village.
How does this story relate to being unassertive and struggling with the power that others have on your life? You need to find friends that believe in you. You need to find friends to talk to and receive support from. When everyone was against Jesus it did limit him but it did not stop him. He had found 12 close friends that had his back. They helped keep his ministry alive in Nazareth and they continued to support him when he left and his ministry got back on track.
You need to find friends to have your back and counteract the naysayers. You can surround yourself with friends that believe in you. You can find friends that support your decisions. Friends that will give you loving advice that is helpful. Sometimes they may share their own struggles and that will help you grow and learn. These are the friends you need to spend time with. These are the ones who deserve our energy and effort.
There are some friends that could be everyday friends and others that are weekly or monthly friends. It isn’t a mean thing. It is a choice thing. It isn’t like Jesus only had 12 guys that wanted to follow him around. He had hundreds. Really, he did! Luke 10: 1 says that Jesus sent 72 disciples out to tell people about him. John 6: 6o-71 tells of a time when many disciples deserted Jesus, implying that he had more disciples than he did at the end of his life. In Mark 3: 13-19 and Luke 6: 12-16 Jesus appoints the 12 disciples which suggests that he had more to choose from. Even though Jesus was surrounded by more people than he could count he was particular. He chose some to become closer with than others. Even within the 12, he would, at times, choose only 3 or 4 to stay with him during some of his most intimate times praying to God. He is a model in all ways. You need to be selective, choose who to spend your time with, and sometimes say no to others.
It isn’t as easy as it sounds to have these positive people in your life. Trust me, I know. Seven years ago I moved to Charlotte and didn’t know a soul. I made a few friends here and there but I am a pretty shy person so it was a struggle. I kept hearing the same message, like a bird singing in my ear, “pray for friends.” I thought that I did that. But after I had my first daughter, and was even more isolated with quitting work, that is when I began earnestly praying. I begged God to fill up my life with friends. And you know what? He did and they came. God has filled me up so much that I laugh about it now because He was waiting for me to surrender to him. He is in control of all things and He is the one that always has our back.
If you don’t have a friend in your life that you feel completely confident has your back then you need to get them. And you guessed how: pray. Leave a comment below so I can remember you in my prayers too. And in the meantime surrender to God and let him look out for you.
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23
Shout out to all my awesome friends. Thank you for filling up my life with laughter and listening when I need to vent. You make my life more fun!
Sources: NIV Bible & BibleGateway.com
Want to know more about my surrender to Him? Check out a real look at my mom life…