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The LIKE Button

May 9, 2012

When Facebook was new and we only had a couple dozen friends it was cool to know we’d posted some piece of information that someone else liked.  How did we know they liked it?  Because they clicked on the LIKE button, of course!  But in our daily walk, we have major difficulties with the LIKE button in our heart.  It can be difficult going through each day looking at everyone we come into contact with the same way God looks at them.

Think about your typical day.  You wake up and the kids are grumpy or your spouse can’t figure out how to say a simple ‘good morning’ to  you.  You walk  out the door and head to work.  Stopping to get gas you see two or three people while filling up.  No one makes eye contact or a courtesy ‘hello’.

At the office you’re given some mundane work and you snarl at your boss (inwardly) that you can’t do something more productively entertaining.  Then in comes that guy that just drives you up the wall.  His voice grates on your nerves so badly that just seeing him coming your direction makes your skin crawl.

You finish your day and you head home.  Four or five jerks cut you off on the road and you’re happy to make it into the driveway without an accident.

There was very little of that day you liked.  There were very few people during that day that you liked.  There were very few that KNEW you liked them.  It was a day just like yesterday just like the day before that.  And our LIKE button is more like a ‘MEH’ button.  You just don’t care and it shows.  It’s not just what we do, but how we do it and how we treat others as we go through our days.

Let’s take a quick look at our families.  In most families there are those you wish you could see more often.  It’s always great to see them, be around them, hang out with them.  But the vast majority of the family … those cousins, that uncle, grandma so-and-so on your dad’s side … you love ’em, but you don’t want to have to see them.  And you really don’t want to get stuck on a phone call with that one relative that just doesn’t know how to shut up and hang up.

All too often we get into this routine.  Or maybe it’s just me.  But we’re not supposed to live this way.

Luke 10:27-28 — The man answered, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” “Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!” (NLT)

In the example I gave above, how, in any of that were we showing His love?  It wasn’t even LIKE.  It was just a big wad of “meh”.  You didn’t care about what you had to do or with those whom you had to interact.  We are too full of ourselves and not full enough of His Holy Spirit.  Or maybe more accurately put, we’re not submitted fully to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

How about the following two verses just to heap a bit of coal on the flames.

Colossians 3:23 — Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. (NLT)

Matthew 5:43-48 — “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

We’re to approach our entire day with our hearts yielded fully to Him.  How could we say, “meh” to Him?  And if we’re to approach Him with a love and respect, He also commands us to do the same towards ALL those around us?  Not meh or like, but LOVE.

Yes, even our enemies and those that persecute us.  Honestly, when was the last time you were persecuted?  You see, it’s not just a concept or an idea, it’s a command.  But that guy on the highway that nearly drove us off the road?  God loved him and laid down His life for his sake.  How can we possible view him any different from us.  We were wretched and careless of others before Christ changed us.  And unfortunately, all too often we’re that way even after our rebirth.

It’s impossible to like everyone, but we need to somehow learn to love them and see them as Jesus does.  They all have their own weaknesses, failures, misgivings, and irritations.  It’s funny how we can always see them in others and rarely in ourselves.

Maybe next time we start our day and realize our kids or spouses are grouches we should examine our own heart first and see if they are somehow responding to our attitude instead.

— Pastor Rick

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