I didn’t need social media to tell me that I like to be liked. Before Facebook, Instagram, or even the internet itself, I knew I liked to be liked. It’s kind of a primal thing in all of us. We’ll fight pretty hard to be liked – to be on the inside and not on the outs. But certainly social media has taken ‘liking’ to a whole new level. There is even a new documentary – The LIKE Movie – that goes into great detail about addiction to social media and the likes we receive through it. Being liked is a big deal.
In every pre-marital counseling I do, we talk about the couple liking each other (not on Instagram, but in real life). Loving each other? Yeah, they’ve thought about that, and we talk about that too. But liking each other is just as important. You can really love someone, really care about them, but if you don’t like them, things fall apart. But I had never really given much thought to whether or not God likes me. Have you? It even sounds weird to say. I mean, I know God loves me. We hear that all the time…”God so loved the world…the greatest of these is love…No one has greater love than this…” It is powerful to know the deep and unending and unconditional LOVE God has for us. But it is also vitally important to know that God LIKES us as well. And one of the biggest reasons is because being liked is so important to us, especially when we’re a little insecure about who we are.
We like to be liked for a number of reasons, but a big reason is because we look for validation from others, trying to make sure – for better or worse – that we are on the right path, that we are doing okay. Maybe it’s weakness or maybe it’s community, but we can’t deny that we feed off of this to some extent. So if being liked is so important, it is probably also important that the source of that LIKE is trustworthy. Here’s what I mean…imagine you are doing something, or posting something, or posting pics of something you are doing and someone likes it. Does it matter WHO likes it? Sure it does. I know quantity of likes is great, but if 500 serial killers like your post, it probably isn’t as important as if 12 Nobel Prize winners like it, right? Or 25 of your friends and people you know. The point is this…when the WHO that likes you is important to you and has your respect, it means more. I always think that if a painter or a sculptor or a poet likes their work, that means more than any critic’s opinion. If the creator likes it, that’s all that matters.
Here’s my point. Your Creator LIKES you. Yes, loves you too, but actually likes you. We hear that God was very pleased with the creation from the beginning, and we can draw that out to the creation of us so many years later. When we are raised we don’t know exactly what that will look like, but we believe we are bodily raised. Who we are now, raised up to spend eternity with God. So if your Creator likes you, that’s worth an awful lot, isn’t it?
When the Apostle Paul was in jail in Rome, he wrote to his friend and mentee, Timothy. In 2 Timothy 4:9-18, Paul asks his friend to come and visit him as soon as possible. I love this passage because Paul asks for something as mundane as a coat as well as asking for his most prized possession, “the scrolls” (the scriptures, his other letters?? We’re not sure). And Paul says this in the midst of lamenting all those who have deserted him and even betrayed him. He is abandoned, BUT he does not understand himself to be alone. He speaks of “the Lord” as one who “stood by me” and “rescued” him when others left, and who will continue to “save” him in the future. What is a friend if not one who stands by your side, has your back, comes to your aid, and shows the kind of faithfulness you can trust into the future? Although the song used to hurt my ears as a child…”What a frrriend we have in Jeeeesuuuus”…the words to it are something worth giving us pause. Pause to realize…God LIKES me.