Jesus, help me accept that not everyone has to like me, and just spend time with the people who do!

Jesus went to Nazareth, His hometown, and tried to teach at the temple there. People who heard Him couldn’t believe it. “Isn’t He just a carpenter?” they said. “We know His family; He’s nobody special.” Jesus was sad that they didn’t have faith in Him, so instead of doing any miracles, He left town.

Everyone wants to be liked. The fact is, though, you will probably meet people in your life who don’t like you. That doesn’t mean there’s something “unlikeable” about you; it just means you and the other person have very different personalities or opinions.

The other person might struggle with making friends, or you might. But it isn’t helpful for you to decide the person is bad or mean or say harsh things about someone who doesn’t like you.

In this week’s Gospel (Mark 6:1-6), Jesus went to a place where you would think He’d find a lot of friends: the town where He grew up. Instead, people made fun of Him and ignored Him.

Another thing kids often do when someone seems to not like you is to try harder — even too hard. You want so much for the person to see that you’re likeable, you act super-friendly, share your snacks and try to impress the person. Once in a while that works, but most of the time, it just annoys them. You’re not being real, and it shows.

Even Jesus wanted to be liked. He could have gone in either direction: calling out the people who didn’t like Him on their bad behavior, or doing a bunch of miracles to impress them.

Instead, Jesus accepted that not everyone had to like Him. He chose to spend time with the people who wanted to hear what He had to say and spend time getting to know God, and He left town to go find more of those people.

If someone doesn’t like you, it’s OK to move on. Either they’ll come to see that you’re nice, or they won’t — but you can’t control that. Even Jesus didn’t try to force every single person to like Him!