Am I too well-liked?

Salvete, omnes!

As a Christian person, am I too well-liked?

After all, does not Christ warn us in the Gospels against “all men speaking well” of us?

Now, to be sure, not “all men” have “always” spoken well of me. However, I can say that I’m pretty sure that I have no mortal enemies or even less than mortal ones.

I am actually a person who is generally quite well-liked in my immediate community and outside of it where I have interacted.

In fact, I try, without compromising my principles, to be a well-liked person. I ma, indeed, in no way a “people-pleaser”, but I do try to treat others with respect, gentleness, etc., even when discussing and/or living out my beliefs. I have indeed found that this goes over well and does tend to allow people to “like” me in virtually every circumstance, even if they do not agree with my Christian beliefs/principles.

Admittedly, I’m not the kind of person to “throw my faith in people’s faces”, but, if it comes up naturally in conversation, I am very glad to share my beliefs and even the reasons for them, yet, at the same time, I am very considerate about doing so, often choosing my words carefully, especially if I know the other person disagrees and especially if I know they vehemently disagree. I am indeed very considerate to their own beliefs, especially if I think they are coming from a good place. I don’t try to “force anything down their throats”, as it were, but I do try to explain with great respect where I come from.

Again, I have found that this approach wins me many friends and very few if any enemies.

I am generally very much a “people person” (INFJ personality type), very empath(et)ic and love to form very close relationships with people. This is not only to be a good witness but also for their own sake, for my enjoyment and for the enjoyment/edification of the other person(s). So, I do admit, I care very much whether other people “like me”, but, again, not so much so that I would compromise my principles. Indeed, I care that people “like me” also because of the kind of witness it could provide to them through my relationship with them and also through my example to them. Indeed, I enjoy forming relationships with people based on common interests and also for our mutual benefit. I want others to enjoy my presence in their lives as much as I enjoy theirs. Is there, indeed, anything wrong with this?

One thing I wonder about in particular, though, is my shyness about confrontation when I see either a minor or a more major sin being committed by someone else because I don’t want them to “stop liking” me. This is especially the case if I don’t know a person well or even very well at all. I am hesitant to confront the person when I see them doing wrong because I fear it might close off any future opportunity (if one might exist) for positive interaction both in terms of witness and general relationship. I don’t want to be seen as “pushy” or as “interfering” in their lives, particularly as a person who does not know them well enough. And, when I do confront on matters of sin, I am still very careful about the way I come across to them; while I state my beliefs and the reasons for them as well as my concern for their welfare, I am also often very gentle about it and very sensitive to how they are going to react. (My general sensitivity to the emotions of others is very helpful in this regard.) Again, approaching someone with this kind of respect can often further the conversation more effectively than a more severe approach.

I don’t know, perhaps it is the people with whom I generally choose to surround myself. Yet, it does cause me some trepidation as well, considering Christ’s warning about “all men speaking well” of us.

Now, if I feel that someone is very much coming from an intentionally malicious place in their sin, I will sometimes be quite direct and even stinging in my rebuke. This often comes from both a place of indignation about the sin committed and sometimes a feeling of extreme care for their welfare, especially if they are a friend of mine. This latter I will very often state along with my rebuke. Still, very much of all this is quite case-dependent.

So, am I doing something wrong in the approaches I’ve elucidated above? Should more people speak ill of, dislike and even hate me, if I truly am being a good Christian? Should I being doing something I’m not doing to make this the case? Should I not be doing something?

Am I acting in an appropriately Christian way in what I have described above? Or, rather, should I be far more harsh/confrontation/etc. or maybe even something else in the way I interact with people so that more people speak ill of/dislike/hate me? AFter all, did they not first hate Christ who was indeed very confrontational, at least with the Pharisees?

Gratias.

Misty, please re-read your post. It comes off as a full page of your saying, in many different ways, “I’m wonderful, and everyone loves me. Should I be nastier, so more people hate me?”

There is nothing wrong with having no one hate you. Consider yourself fortunate.

While I can understand why her post may seem that way to you, I believe I can also understand what Misty is getting at here, and it’s a valid question that Christians should grapple with.

It’s a long post, but I think it boils down to whether my vanity and “fear of man and his opinions” gets in my way of standing firm for the truth.

Indeed, am I being persecuted enough and if not is it because I’m not standing firm for the faith?

There is a time and a place for everything, Misty, and you win more hearts with honey than vinegar.

It sounds like you have a good grasp of that fact, but it’s good to check in with ones self from time to time.

Mother Teresa said that we have an obligation to speak the truth, but we don’t have to convince anyone. :wink:

If you treat people kindly, you tend to be well-liked. Everyone responds positively to that. :slight_smile: If you’re sensitive to other people and “pick up” their feelings quickly, it also helps.

There’s nothing wrong with any of that.

Also, Misty, just keep in mind the 9 Ways to be an Accessory to Another’s Sin:

I. By counsel
II. By command
III. By consent
IV. By provocation
V. By praise or flattery
VI. By concealment
VII. By partaking
VIII. By silence
IX. By defense of the ill done

Yes, what he said. Bear in mind that there is a difference between being well liked and well loved. You can have hundreds of “likes” in life, but perhaps only one or a few well loved treasures. I hope you get the treasures,

When we give witness to Christ through our actions, the world hates us as the world hated Christ. That is our cross to bear. Tests will come.

Nine ways of being an accessory to another’s sin.
1.By Counsel
2.By Command
3.By Consent
4.By Concealment
5.By Defense of Evil Done
6.By Partaking
7.By Provocation
8.By Praise
9.By Silence

My 2 cents:
I myself try not to put myself too high up on the Lord’s list by thinking how great I am.
I’m not great.
I will try to follow His holy Will, live by the example of Saints, and receive the Eucharist worthily.
I am would be vary wary of considering that I am doing “too well” or have too many friends.
Now is the time for a Spiritual Director.
Seek one out, especially since your are “considering” Catholicism. A priest can lead you better than posting on the internet. Your relationship with Christ deserves that, at a minimum.
One wouldn’t seek medical advice here. Your spiritual life is much the same.
Seek the Divine Physician, and things will cease to trouble you so much.
A good priest is there somewhere, ready to explain the Lord’s mercies to you.
Since you like to read so much, maybe try: Story of a Soul" by St. Therese of Lisiuex.
She has to be one of the most purely humble saints in her outlook on life and the next life, ever. A beautiful read.

Yes. I agree with this.

Fwiw- you can reread your thread on “are boys better then girls” for a reality check too.
:eek:

Am I too well-liked?

No.

This is something Ive wondered about too, especially the kind of world we live in today, if you are a christian and enjoy a fairly easy and comfortable life, or have too many people agreeing with you (better yet, not disagreeing with you)…something must be wrong somewhere.

Either you are not truly abiding by Gods laws and compromising to a degree, or the bible was wrong about life not being easy for christians…?? Not sure?

I really wondered about this when Pope Francis visited the US last year, I expected a lot of disagreement and protesting…but to see the secular media and majority of people loving everything he does and says?..IDK, something wrong about that imo? IF he is not saying anything that ‘upsets’ the secular world, is he doing all he can as the leader of the CC?

A better phrasing would be helpful…

“Should people hate me more?”

Fly to Erbil and take the bus south, you will find plenty of hate.

No, you’re not acting inappropriately or being a bad Christian. It seems like you’re aware of the dilemma of putting people before God that we all struggle with.

I like the manner in which The Imitation of Christ addresses this dilemma. It was written by a monk in the 15th century and is considered the most widely read Christian book outside of the bible. Is the relationship advice in this book a requirement? No, but it might be helpful in our walk toward becoming more holy.

One of the basic ideas is this - what can you obtain by traveling far, seeking the latest news, or eating, drinking and being merry? You can expect disturbance in the heart and a sad morning. :slight_smile: The praise of men is fleeing and inconsistent.

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