There is a difference between loving someone and liking someone. Your parents probably always loved you. But they didn’t always like you! Grandparents are a different story. They always loved you and liked you! How else could grandkids get away with so much?
We put a lot of emphasis on love. Sometimes we forget how special it is to simply be liked. To put it in biblical terms, we focus so much on agape (sacrificial) love we forget the importance of phileo (friendship) love. No vows, no ceremonies, just appreciation and joy. God wants both!
Loving vs. Liking
As Jesus explains in John 15, Christ not only died for us (agape), He also calls us friend (phileo). What an incredible realization! To recognize that God not only loves you, He likes you. Warts and all. How many other people could say the same of you?
Do you have a desire to not only love God, but to like Him? Christians like to keep God at a distance by choosing to love Him through mere service instead of actually spending time with Him. Instead of “friend-zoning” God, we “love-zone” Him!
Questions to Consider
Are we willing to be liked by God? More importantly, are we willing to like Him back? Here are a list of questions to consider:
1. If you were to make a list of the people you think about, talk to, and spend time with the most, where would God rank on that list? Would He even be on it?
2. If you talked and listened to your spouse as much as you talked (prayer) and listened (Scripture) to God, how healthy would your marriage be?
3. If you died and went to Heaven, and everything you ever hoped to find was there except for God, would you care?
4. If God told you that, in order to go to Heaven, you either had to do acts of service every day, or spend an hour with Him at a coffee shop every day. Which one would you choose?
5. Is Jesus the kind of Person you enjoy so much you wish other people knew Him?
6. Do you live your life as if you know that the Holy Spirit inside you is the very Person of God? And not just some religious force?
7. Make a list of all the things that bring you joy in life. Is God on it? Did He even come up in your head?
8. If Jesus walked into the room right now, on a scale from 1-10, how awkward would it be for you, given your relationship over the past weeks, months, years?
The point of these questions is not to produce guilt. It’s also not to cheapen Christianity into some kind of petty, Hollywood, overly emotional, Jesus-is-my-boyfriend, kind of religion. But hopefully these questions force you to evaluate the role God really plays in your life.
It’s easy to throw the word “love” around so much that it becomes religious in of itself. Love becomes a word used in a church service instead of something experienced in one’s life. It becomes liturgical instead of impactful. God desires so much more than our duty, devotion, or service. He wants us.
Do you desire God? Does your love for Him consume your thoughts? Does it bring you joy? If not, that’s okay. Talk to God about it. Tell Him you want a closer walk with Him. Tell Him you desire to find your satisfaction in Him alone. Then, open your Bible and hear what He has to say.
Resting in Him,