I don’t expect that if you are reading this, you are here to feel good about yourself. Although, I think if you hang on until the end you will be encouraged. There are some promises and perspectives that potentially will help you have a better fight in this life.
Essentially, all of us want to be liked. Who likes to have others think ill of them? Only certain narcissists enjoy it when people speak ill of them, for the reason that even if someone is talking poorly about them, at least someone is talking about them.
The rest of us often have a complex about those things. We have the “Everybody Loves Raymond” syndrome: we can’t have one person not liking us, even if everyone else does.
So, how does the title, “Christian, Don’t Expect to Always be Liked” encourage us? First, we need to understand that we will not always be liked. If you go into life understanding that you will not always be liked, this will help you have a realistic perspective. If you think that you will always be liked, or should be liked, you will struggle in life. You will be frustrated and disappointed.
Christian, if you will gain a Biblical and godly perspective, you will be able to handle the idea of not being liked. What does the apostle Peter have to say to Christians about this idea? If we look in I Peter 3 we will find the answer.
The short answer is that if you love God, if you follow Jesus, there will be people who don’t like you. There are Christian theologies which lead to Christian ideologies that go head to head with an atheistic, secular view of the world. Our views about marriage, creation, abortion, and other ethical ideas are contrary to society.
If they were just contrary to the Christian worldview, this would not be a problem. So why is there so much angst between the Christian and atheist? Because the opposite of what we believe places guilt and condemnation on others. If we believe X is sin and the non-Christian not only believes X is alright to do, but often does X, then for the Christian to say that X is a sin, means that those who do X is wrong. People don’t like to be wrong. It offends them. You become “holier than thou.”
To believers, the Gospel – the message of the cross – is refreshing. To know that there is forgiveness for the sins that you have committed before a holy God is like an ocean in the middle of the desert. To those who don’t believe, the cross is offensive. To be told that you have sinned against a God that you do not believe in is offensive. If you don’t believe you are a sinner, but you are told you are, this can make you angry.
So as Christians, not just what you say, but how you live can be offensive to others. This can make people mad at you. What does Peter have to say about such situations?
In I Peter 3:13-17 we are told that we are to obey God not man. It’s not about making others happy, it’s about pleasing God. Sometimes pleasing God means that you won’t please man. In fact, sometimes we will enrage them.
This should not be our goal. Actually, when we hear that we will not always be liked, it doesn’t give us an excuse to attempt to fuel someone else’s fire. We must speak truth. If they are angry, let it be at the truth of God’s Word. It should not be in how we treat others.
In verse 15 we are told how to act, while we stand for God’s Word and truth. We are told to proclaim the truth “with gentleness and respect.” We are not to angrily scream God’s truths at people, but to lovingly do it with gentleness and respect. Our attitude in how we share the truth is important.
So Christian, if you are speaking for and standing for the truth, expect to not always be liked. Those who do not believe the same as you will not always appreciate your stand for God. If you come from this perspective, you won’t be disappointed when everyone does not respect, or like you.
Thanks for taking time to read this Maddening Theology post. If you enjoyed this content you can find Pastor Tim’s sermons at www.cornerstoneforestcity.org. You can also join us at 520 Marion St. Browndale, PA 18421 on Sundays at 10:45 AM. To make following the blog easier you can also register. You can also join us on Facebook at Cornerstone Forest City. Also, don’t forget to download our APP on iTunes or Googleplay.