Billy's Blog
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May 2, 2017, 11:46 AM

The Need To Be LIked

One of my favorite characters on TV is Michael Scott from the sitcom, The Office. He is played by Steve Carell, one of the most popular comedy actors right now. Scott is the regional manager of, Dunder Mifflin, a Scranton, PA paper supply company. The problem with Michael is that he loves to be liked. He has trouble making difficult decisions for the company, because he doesn't want to make anyone mad. He has a desperate need to be liked by everyone and it causes him and his co-workers a lot of hilarious headaches and awkward moments. His need to be liked paralyzes himself so that he can't make good leadership decisions. 

In Matthew 23:5-7 Jesus addresses the Pharisees need to be liked and appreciated and noticed by people. They want people to see them as leaders and as holy people. They love the best seats at the banquets, and they loved to be called, Rabbi. They loved the respect and love of people...even if it was fake. They loved to feel important and in charge and to be in front of people and receive their praises. 

Jesus called this, hypocrisy, because when we are driven by the need to be liked and given attention publicly, our sincerity goes out the window. Our reasoning for serving God becomes empty and fake. 

Jesus tells us many times that if we go all in for him that some people will not like us. Here are some of his words. 

"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first." John 15:18

"But beware of men, for they will hand you over to the courts and scourge you in their synagogues." Mt. 10:17

"Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death." Mt. 10:21

"Remember the word that I said to you, 'A slave is not greater than his master ' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also." John 15:20

I think you get the point. If you are going to serve God and go all in for him some people won't like you. Some people might be out to destroy you. Some people may become your enemies. But through all of this here's a few things to remember. 

1. They hated Jesus first. 

Remember Jesus? He was the man who was healing the sick, raising the dead, feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, befriending the friendless...this great man was hated. So don't assume that you are doing anything wrong because some people don't like you or even rise up against you. Sometimes it is proof that you are doing what's right. 

2. We should not be surprised by this. 

We live under the false assumption that good things happen to good people. Have you read the book of Job? Job was singled out for suffering specifically because he was a righteous man. We should not be surprised when people don't like us because we are faithful followers of Jesus. 

3. This is not an excuse to be a jerk. 

Remember that Jesus was hated because of the good he did and the bold statements he made. He did not deserve this. If you are being disliked because you are a pious jerk...that's a different story. I am so tired of preachers I hear on local radio or on Youtube videos labeled "bad preachers", that sound angry and almost happy that some people are going to hell. Jesus said that he did not come to earth to condemn people and neither do we. 

4. Keep the big picture in mind. 

Jesus was willing to go through what he went through partially because he knew two things...it was temporary and it was part of the mission. We are on a journey. We are on the path to eternity with God. We might have to suffer a little bit while we are here, but the big picture is so much greater. I love what Paul writes to encourage us in 2 Corinthians 4:17:

 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

While being hated or pushed aside or ignored or slandered may not seem very like or momentary at the time of going through it, compared to what God has in store for us it is. We just have to keep that big picture in mind. We don't want to lose out on what God has for us, simply because we were unwilling to put with a little hiccup here on earth. 

I know the pain of not being liked for no fault of your own. It hurts. But remember that it's light and momentary compared to what God is going to give us for ALL eternity. 

 

 

 


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