Guarding your heart against hurt is hard.
“Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you, for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.” Luke 6:26
Everyone wants to be liked. My goodness, Mark Zuckerberg has built a billion dollar business on “likes”! We feel wonderful when we’re liked, and somewhat devastated when we’re not. There’s nothing wrong with desiring to be liked. Even in evangelistic terms, who listens to someone they don’t like? The problem comes when 'like' takes a precedent over love.
How do you react when you feel someone doesn’t like you?
The natural human tendency is to withdraw. This probably occurs if rejection has played a role in our past. A second danger for "like-addicts" is that we’re not apt to confront someone with the truth for fear they won’t, well, like us anymore. But there is nothing loving about letting people believe lies. That’s just using cheap grace to hide our selfishness.
Love takes a higher road. It directs our thoughts from mulling over perceived rejections to what is excellent and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8). When we soak our minds with the good stuff, we don’t need to gobble up man’s affirmation like a starving waif. We’re full. So full, that even if our perceptions are true, and someone is rejecting us…what difference does it make? We respond out of the love God has given us, not out of a desperate need for man’s approval.
Blessed are those who seek to love more than to be liked. The Beatles notwithstanding, it’s all we really need!
Father, please help us choose the higher road. Help us value love more than being liked. Fill us with the awareness of your great love for us so we don’t go looking in all the wrong places for affirmation. You, Lord, are all we need. Amen.
Write and deliver a letter of affirmation to someone who could use some Christlike love.