How Do You Like Me Now?

God isn’t like me.

Did you know that a careful search of scripture will reveal to you that NO WHERE does God command us to LIKE him.

I really want to be liked. If I were God, I would care if people liked me. I’d try to get them to like me and if I were in the business of commanding things, I’m pretty sure I’d command people to like me.

Not God.

Once upon a time I was leading an evangelistic Bible study and each week I could feel myself become more and more stressed out. When I finally prayed about it, God told me what was wrong with me. The conversation went something like this.

“You’re uptight, Lori, because you want these women to like me.”

“Well, yeah, Lord. I thought that was the point.”

“It isn’t. I don’t need them to like me. I need them to see the truth about me, to seek me, to trust me, to turn to me, to worship me, to love me but I don’t need them to like me.”

“Wow. I’ve been trying to get them to like You.”

“Yes, I know. I need you to stop that. I don’t need a PR person; I need a witness to the truth of who I am.”

Through that time of prayer, I realized that all of my tension came from the fact that I really did want these women to like God and, well, you know God, He can do and say some really unlikeable things. So I would show up to lead the group each week and essentially I was hoping that God would show up too and “behave”. Perform miracles, answer prayers, say what they needed to hear, you know.

But week after week, we’d stumble onto parts of scripture that are tough or the women would be confronted with the need to change or to give things up that were important or someone would invite Jesus into their world and instead of making things easier it would make their lives a whole lot messier for a time.

Like telling a boyfriend they were no longer going to have sex outside of marriage.

Or confessing to a spouse that they’d been lying about their spending habits.

Or telling a boss they would no longer participate in covering up fraudulent behavior.

Or giving up a drinking problem.

Once I stopped worrying about whether or not the women LIKED God, it became easier to introduce them to Him. I felt relieved. I no longer felt the need to explain Him or to defend Him. I just told them what I knew about Him and together, we learned more about Him through the Bible.

And eventually, most of the women did see the truth about Him, did seek Him, did trust Him, did turn to Him, did worship Him, did grow to love Him.

I think that I wanted them to like Him so much because I thought that if they liked Him, some of that liking would rub off onto me.

Instead, I learned that being liked isn’t really what’s important. In fact, it can get in the way of having a real relationship. Real relationships are satisfying. They last through all the messy, unlikeable seasons of life. Real relationships survive the times when we are unlikeable and we ALL have those times.

Margaret Thatcher said “If you set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing.” That’s true. Allowing one’s self to be driven by the desire to be liked leads to all kinds of compromise and we can’t afford to compromise the truth of Jesus Christ.

God’s not running for reelection. He’s very secure in His position and He doesn’t check to see how He’s doing in the polls. He is who He is.

I like that about Him.

God is not like me but I am learning to be like Him whether anyone else likes it or not.

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    The Conversation

  1. Andrea says:

    It is such an accomplishment when we are able to realize that it is okay for others not to like us. Our self worth is found in our Heavenly Father, not in other humans. I, too struggle with this truth. GOD bless you on your journey, andrea

  2. This is a lesson I’ll have to learn over and over again, Andrea. God bless you right back!