I recently spoke at a mens conference out in Pasco, Washington, with Tyler Locket. It was awesome to see him again and was thankful to get one last road trip with a former team mate. It was a powerful weekend of seeing over 1,100 men coming together to worship God and learn how to be better men.
The night before I spoke, our host took us out to this great seafood restaurant where we had a great time hangin’ with each other. As we sat down, we were greeted by a very friendly waitress named Martha. She was beaming with joy and enthusiastically asked us in her fun, British accent what we would like to drink. As I sat there and listened to her talk, I was taken back by her accent. Running into a thick British accent all the way in Eastern Washington is a rare occasion. When she came back with our drinks, I asked her, “Thats such a cool accent, where are you from?” In an absolutely perfectly clear American accent, she responded, “Oh i’m from Everett Washington, just North of Seattle.” I was shocked. She also said that “When its late, it gets harder for me to talk.” I didn’t know what to think. As we continued to enjoy our dinner, I would notice her going back and forth between an American accent, and Downton Abbey. Finally I looked at Tyler and said, “Is she faking this accent?!” We started laughing in complete confusion as to why this woman felt the need to fake where she was from.
When I got back to my hotel later that night, I had this realization. How often do I go into a room of people and do the exact same thing? Maybe its not faking an accent. Maybe its just trying to be funny. Trying to be relevant. Trying to be liked. We all have this deep desire in us to be liked and accepted. This inner longing that God put in us to be part of a tribe. God said in the garden of Eden that “its not good for man to be alone.” We are built for it. If you think about it, God in himself is a community. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. One God, a Holy community made of three parts. We have this desire for acceptance because God designed us to be part of a group.
As I thought about it, I began to have compassion for this woman. She was a chameleon…just like me. Her struggle was just more obvious and outward than mine. I felt convicted as I laughed at her. Not realizing that her lack of authenticity is a part of the same disease that had afflicted me. The same one that kept me walking on the eggshells of what I thought everyone else expected of me.
I don’t care who you are, at the end of the day, we all want to be liked. Maybe you’re reading this thinking “Wow, Clint is suchhhh a wimp. He’s so desperate. I’m gonna pray and ask God to give him a backbone.” Well, to those few, I hope that one day your heart can soften and you can let people in. The most satisfying life I have ever found is the one where we boast in our weakness. People are impressed with our strengths, but they connect over our weakness. From now on, when I see those people like Martha who are so desperate for love, I choose to meet them with the same grace that God met me with. I was desperate for love, and Jesus found me. He’s after you too. Have the courage to let him and others in.