I’m Hard to Read

Someone I respect said this to me right after I gave my life to Christ:

Ryan, sometimes your confidence comes across as arrogance.”

Someone I respect said this to me a few months ago:

Ryan, people either love you or hate you; nobody is indifferent about Ryan Guard.

People always say your name before they say something you’ll never be able to forget.

I think that the second person was utilizing a bit of hyperbole, but I understand what he was saying: I can be a polarizing man!

The crazy thing is that 99 out of 100 times I’m completely oblivious that someone feels anything but love for me. I just assume that people like me, and that they know I like them. I would have said love, but it sounded arrogant to say “I just assume people love me”, and I’m still working on that perception thing.

As the High School Pastor, I’m on our church’s “Spiritual Formation Team”. We recently did an exercise in which our names were written on a huge sheet of paper that divided us into our various personalities & leadership styles.

My name was the first one to be written down, probably because it was the most obvious.

I was the only one on my side of the paper.

My side of the paper was all about results and drive and getting things done. Many of the other areas were about emotions and affections and analyzing.

I could blame God for the way he has wired me, or embrace the fact that he has wired me to operate a certain way. I need to be sensitive to my blind spots, and I probably need to be much more obvious in my affections and gratitude.

For the record, (insert your name here), I love you and appreciate you and I want to give you a hug. A real hug, not a side-hug. I like your shoes, you have a nice face, and I can learn a lot from you. I want to be your friends, but I’m socially awkward unless I’m holding a bible and a microphone, and sometimes even then.

I know myself too well to be arrogant. I’m driven and passionate because I know I’m loved by God, I have something to say, and it’s likely I’ve just had three cups of coffee.

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