Liking to Be Liked

Posted: July 22, 2015 in Blog, Pastor's Corner
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Consider this—‘we like to be liked, we hate to be hated, and at least, we like to be appreciated.’ These are the words of Pastor Paul Martin, one of his phrases that has stuck with me over years. This little quip highlights how people, which includes you and me, like the approval of others. I’m not saying that our entire existence revolves around garnering acceptance. Nor am I saying that everyone is always trying to get others to like them. However, what I am saying, is that another person’s opinion impacts us in some manner; we like to be liked. Generally speaking, we don’t like being hated, and we like to be appreciated.

Think how these basic human desires can potentially swing the human heart away from doing the right thing, into doing the acceptable thing; you know, the thing that’ll get appreciation. This is part of the miserable plight of humanity—what is acceptable is not always right, even when it is thought to be right.

Churches in any era tend to migrate toward seeking the acceptance of the culture; liking to be liked. But cultural norms do not always reflect the truth. In an odd twist, lemon in a Pepsi, it has some how become the Christian cultural norm to champion the worldly cultural norm, in an effort to maintain a voice with the world; while trying to maintain a voice in the church. This allows the desire for acceptance to change faith and practice, which is so clear in the Scriptures. Steming from wanting the appreciation of outsiders, so that they don’t call us hateful, bigoted, or narrow minded. Because, let’s be honest, belief in the Word of God in its fullness is no longer culturally advantageous. So the natural human desire to please man becomes more important than pleasing God, which in turn leads us away from Jesus.

Pleasing God must be the faith response of a follower of Christ. If pleasing man is more important, what do you think the outcome will be?  When people stop coming to church because the preacher is too preachy, and the Word of God is too boring? The response will be to change that, so that less people are offended by the Word. What about when the same ole, same ole is no longer holding anyone’s attention? The answer look some thing like, “Well, let’s find snazzy ways to keep their attention. If the monologue is no longer in fashion, let’s have more music and drama.” In all of this the Word of God diminishes, as darkness sets in.

Culture shift is inevitable. If the desire of the body of Christ is to gain the appreciation of the world, then the love the the Father isn’t in us. Do not forget God, the great evil of humanity. Walk in a manner worthy of your calling in Christ Jesus the Lord. Seek satisfaction in Christ Jesus alone, and allow the complaints against the same ole, same ole roll off.

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