Okay, I have to tell you this. It really cracks me up. I am telling you this as a confession because this happens all of the time and sometimes I have to laugh out loud over it. Ready? Okay, one of my favorite things to do is to hug and squeeze on people. I love to meet new faces and I love to connect with people. I love to put names and faces together and I love to introduce people I meet to others. People are just so awesome! I mean that is not so bad, right?

The reason it cracks me up so much is because people tell me all the time that when they first met me they were not sure I was really “that bubbly”. They try to get a read on me. They say things like, “Seriously, is this chick for real?” I mean surely someone cannot always love on people like that and throw their arms around strangers like that, right? I mean who in the world would want to talk to people they just met and go for coffee? Who in the world would share stories of life with someone they dont know? Who in the world would accept people and take a risk on loving them just because they were them? Who would have no ulterior motive? Who would be that “friendly” to a stranger and not try to sell them make-up in a pink container or cleaning products in their multi-level marketing deal? People must always have something up their sleeve, right?

Seriously? Well first off, I am not bubbly all the time, just most of it! 🙂 I do love people and I could care less if I have known you 10 minutes or 10 years. I just think people are amazing and I love to love on people, beautiful people! Now I will tell you this. I was talking to a friend last week and I told her that being like I am does not come without its pain. You see my friend takes a very long time to warm up to anyone, I dont. She takes a very long time to trust people, I dont. She has a hard time letting anyone in, I dont. But let me tell you something, both of us can experience pain because of the way we are.

She can experience pain because she missed out on relationships that she could have had that were amazing. Why? Because she did not want to risk any discomfort.  I can get hurt because not everyone is trustworthy. I tend to err on the side of, “I trust you until you give me a reason not to.” She tends to err on the side of, “I will never trust you until you give me a reason to trust you”.

Listen, I don’t know your story or your past but I do know this. People are amazing. Not everyone is worthy of your trust but there sure are a lot who are just like you, wanting to give their life with Jesus their best shot. I am not perfect and I dont need anyone else to be. I just think that if the Creator of the Universe lives inside of me, surely he would want me to love on people. I think Jesus was a great model of how we should love others. He did it way better than anyone else could ever love anyone. Why do we as Christians have to seem out of place if we just love on people? Why is that not the norm? Shouldn’t we have life bubbling out of us? Shouldn’t we be full of vitality and excitement if we know what our Savior has done for us?  How do you stay acting hum drum and mellow over that? Doesn’t the bible say the world will know us by our love? I can’t just sit with my hands in my pocket! Life it too precious and too worth living! People are too amazing!

So let me end it like this. If you get hurt by people, don’t stop trusting. When I get hurt I have a choice to make. I can harden my heart to people and think everyone is out to get me or I can trust God that when I do hurt He will hold me in His arms. We are not promised a pain-free life. We can have deep, trusting relationships with others and guess what? At some point they probably started out as strangers in your life. My closest friends are all people who were once strangers to me.  I just threw my arms around them and years later here we are. We still have our arms around each other.

You can never go wrong by loving people. I dont mind so much if people don’t really know how to take me at first. The proof for me is if I am still the same person 15 years later; a person who just loves on and believes in PEOPLE!

Which side of the spectrum do you tend to fall in?

~ by pennymaxwell on June 1, 2010.

5 Responses to “Seriously?”

  1. Hey Pastor Penny,

    I fall in the middle (part like you/part like your friend). I am opening up alot more since I have started attending life groups. I am meeting the greatest people, and I feel so blessed that I have “real” people who except me the way that I am. I wasn’t for sure what to think when of you when I first saw you and saw you interacting with the people. I have never had the privilege to formally meet you or have coffee with you (yet), however from what I hear about you and your past hurts. I know that there is hope for me to love and trust people again. XOXOX!!!

  2. Penny you loved on me and my children over 7 years ago in time in our lives that was painful and confusing and you helped bring freedom to me. Please dont ever let anything change who you are!!Have you noticed that when I greet you I tell you how beautiful you always are? well the reason is because you are !! inside and out I love ya girl Sherry

  3. You guys are very precious! Thanks for your words. I consider it an honor that I GET TO love on people each and every week from all walks of life who are going through all sorts of situations. If I can ever be a tiny glimpse of Jesus to someone, then its all worth it.

    The more I fathom just how much God loves me, the easier it is to just love others. There is hope no matter what you have been through!

  4. Penny, you will not know this side how much of an impact you made at Living Word Ladies conference! I am still in awe of how God darted my heart with sharing my story I have been sitting on. thanks for stepping out, loving us and being bold enough to state the truth! (btw..i had the honey. how do you like it?)

    • I love the honey! Thank you so much!

      I appreciate your kind words! 🙂 Cant wait to be back with you ladies again!

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