Have you ever heard this expression, It’s Not Personal? I’m going to go out on a limb and say most of us have heard this phrase used in one way or another. Whether in the movies, through business or relationships most of us are probably familiar with this saying. Has anyone ever said this to you? What was your reaction? Did it feel personal? Maybe that cliché is simply a balm to the soul of those who use it so thoughtlessly. In a society of people that live and work in close relationship with each other can this even be true?
I’m not suggesting that everything that everybody does to us we take personally. We’d be a wreck if we did. The driver that cut you off, not personal. Your defiant teen, not personal (even though it feels like it). The rude clerk or patron, not personal. Remember that everyone has bad days, things that they’re dealing with and that’s when we need a huge dose of patience and grace to not react like it is personal.
I love what the character Kathleen Kelly in You’ve Got Mail says to Joe Fox who just put her out of business in response to his rationalization, “It’s wasn’t personal.” After asking what it means she answers her own question, “All that means is it wasn’t personal to you but it was personal to me. It’s personal to a lot of people. Whatever is wrong with being personal anyway because whatever anything else is it ought to begin by being personal?”
I just love that. Whatever anything else is it ought to begin by being personal. How do we build trusting relationships without getting personal? Every one of us has something to offer but how do we contribute without getting personal? Social media fools us into believing we are being personal but are we? Isn’t what we post just pretension? We show people what we want them to see and they in turn show us what they want us to see. In a world filled with hurting and desperate people we need to get personal. Jesus got personal. He walked the dusty streets with people so he could get personal. He ate meals with tax-collectors (a group of people despised by all), spoke with women of ill-repute and physically touched the diseased. Pretty personal.
Whether you’re a follower of Jesus or not there is still something of value here to discover. The only way to heal the brokenhearted is to get personal. Take a risk and get involved on a deeper level with the ones God brought into your life. You have so much treasure to share with them and they with you. When we hold ourselves back, avoid the personal, we rob ourselves of so many special moments that we could share with others. So let’s get personal!