Have you ever been tempted to live “down” so others will feel more comfortable? What I call living down has many connotations. Chief among them is making yourself smaller, less, or invisible to make someone feeling threatened “feel” better. NEVER DO THAT!
Others feel feeling threatened by you isn’t your fault.
Have you ever felt compelled to “live down?” Have you operated beneath your greatness, skills, or talents to make someone else feel more comfortable around you?
How “living down” shows up…
You may be at work and co-workers give you the funny look because you’re speaking knowledgeably about a subject in a meeting. Too bad. So sad. Their problem.
Or you’re in a church meeting, and you come up with some great ideas the leadership loves! Not your fault. If they are feeling threatened, they need to work harder. Simple as that.
Maybe, you have a mate who is intimidated by you because you make more money, are more informed, and quite talented in your own right. That’s his dilemma. You’re not responsible for him feeling threatened. God (and yes, this is a Christian blog) created you to be awesome so He can be glorified by your wonderfulness! Don’t dim it, Girl!
Pssssh… I’m over it!
About fifteen years ago, I’ve learned it is not my concern when people are feeling intimidated or inferior to me. Look here, I don’t live my life trying to make others uncomfortable or demeaned, that would be…just..mean.
Who has time for that?
Know this: I’m never trying to “one-up” ANYONE…EVER!
It’s just that I read a lot, research a great deal, and have been blessed with a brain that works well for me. I never attempt to overshadow any other person in any situation. So, if they are intimidated, that’s between them and God. They just haven’t discovered who they are and what they have to offer just yet. I was the same way at one time.
Your feeling threatened will not manipulate me!
At the same time, I don’t live my life to make people feel comfortable around me other than walking in love and kindness.
If I know an answer to a problem – and it’s my place to share it – I will share it. Gone are the days of me sitting quietly because I didn’t want to seem “smart” or as if I was seeking attention.
No one should have to live “lower” to make others feel okay. At least that is how I see it. How about you?
The same goes for folks who are feeling intimidated by my walk with the Lord.
I’ve experienced a weird intimidation as it relates to my Christian lifestyle.
Some people at work simply must accept me as I am…take me as I come. If that means that my lifestyle challenges theirs – ok.
In like manner, I will not live down, hide my faith nor try to “fit in” because they are feeling intimidated by my strong faith.
Best case scenario…
Or better yet, what if someone else’s lifestyle and spiritual maturity challenge me to live “up” a bit? I say “Praise God!”
I love being around people whom I admire! They teach me so much! It makes me such a better me! I’ve matured to the point I see them as resources and not competition.
Back In the Day…
Years ago, I learned exactly who my friends were when I decided to live my life God’s way. Some folks really gave me the blues when I gave my life to the Lord.
For instance, when I stopped cursing (about twenty years ago), some friends told me “Girl, it doesn’t take all that to be a Christian“. I felt weird and out of place with people I had known for years. Isolation soon followed.
Even so, I knew I couldn’t serve God and have cursing come from the same mouth as blessings.
God helped me change and helped me not care about those feeling intimated.
Another example is when I decided to live celibate (yeah, I said it) and wait until marriage for sex. Several folks made fun of me, some guys even dumped me.
It was OK because I kept my head up; I changed friends and God blessed me in the long run. I met the right one.
My ultimate A-HA Moment…
Then it hit me: I don’t have to live my life in ways to make others feel “comfortable” with theirs.
People who really and truly care about me will accept me for who I am: a firm Christian, a knowledge-seeker, and a person who esteems her self by being competent.
If I’m nothing else in this life, I want to be authentic. I want to be real and I want to portray a faith that empowers others to walk out Godly principles.
Add to that my need to contribute to things I’m involved in and I simply don’t have the energy to “live “down for others.
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I want to please the Lord, Christian woman!
One of my endeavors is to lead others to Christ through my lifestyle, words, and conviction. If that makes folks feel strange around me, so be it.
So-o-o-o-o, I’m not going to drink just because you’re drinking, smoke because you’re smoking, curse because you do or listen to raunchy jokes because colleagues think they are funny!
I will be that chick that says “that’s not funny” or simply walks away.
Additionally, I’ll never know the answer to a problem and remain quiet because someone else doesn’t.
All this to say…
Hey, I am far from perfect, but I strive for it every day.
Sure, I fall short…that’s what mercy and grace are for. But, the next day, I try to live “up” to God’s standards afresh. I keep trying.
Christian woman, live your life up.
Have high standards.
Be God’s girl.
Forget others and their “comfort” levels. Be yourself and walk out your faith the way God calls you to do it. Walking with the Lord costs a lot, but as Carolyn Cofield used to say “It cost what it costs”.