You Like Me,You Really Like Me!

We started reading through Matthew, and I thought it was all very interesting, you know. And I found Jesus very disturbing, very straightforward. He wasn’t diplomatic, and yet I felt like if I met Him, He would really like me… I can’t explain how freeing that was, to realize that if I met Jesus, He would like me. I never felt like that about some of the Christians on the radio. I always thought if I met those people they would yell at me but it wasn’t like that with Jesus.  ~ Donald Miller

We’ve all heard parodies of Sally Field’s second Oscar acceptance speech: I haven’t had an orthodox career, and I’ve wanted more than anything to have your respect. The first time I didn’t feel it, but this time I feel it, and I can’t deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me! It was so uncool to let on that being liked mattered.

We’re supposed to pretend that it isn’t important. Just like yourself. That’s all that counts. That’s what we’re told. But it’s not true. Being liked does matter.

The new convert in Miller’s story was drawn to God because she felt that if she met Him, He would really like her. She didn’t say I thought God would love me. She said I felt like if I met Him, He would really like me. Liking matters.

Sometimes I find myself thinking of God like a family member who has to love me because we’re related but may not like me all that much. Maybe that’s because there are days I’m not my greatest fan and I only see through the mirror dimly while God knows every dark part of my heart. If I know He loves me, does it matter if He likes me?

This is what I’ve always thought about liking and loving: There are people who I like but don’t know well enough to love. And there are people who I love that I know too well to like. That’s what I’ve told myself when I base love on relationship and commitment and like on actions and attitudes.

I don’t know if you’re this way, but when I sense someone doesn’t like me, even if they profess to love me, my walls go up. There’s something so compelling about being genuinely liked. Loving is a cake walk compared to liking. Liking requires listening and giving and a huge dedication to understanding. If we have any hope of being a light, we’d better learn to do the heavy lifting of liking because liking does matter.

Author: Debbie

A former counselor and public speaker, I'm grateful for many, many things - God's grace most of all!

47 thoughts on “You Like Me,You Really Like Me!”

  1. I accidentally found you today going on a hit or miss tour of blogs from blogs and found myself quite moved by your writings! Thank you for your insight. I don’t have a developed blog on word press but have experimented for family and friends on BlogSpot. I find myself not tagging subjects… like I don’t really want to be found. Your writing inspires me to write more! God bless you.

    1. Hello rehill!
      I’m so glad your wandered into Two Minutes of Grace. 🙂
      I’m a sporadic blogger and try to keep my word by never taking more than two minutes of your time. I did go on an unsuccessful hunt for your blog.
      I look forward to reading more of you thoughts in the future!

    1. Karyn-
      Hello! I’m only now seeing your comment. Interesting point! I think “liking” is often in reaction to another person’s behavior and character traits while “loving” does, indeed, require ‘action’!
      Thanks for being here and sharing your thoughts!

    1. Hello meetingintheclouds!
      You’re a very wise counselor for young people!
      Contrary to Captain and Tennille – I don’t think “Love Will Keep Us Together” – but Like will! 😀

  2. Oh .. .you always give me something to think about, gracious one . .something that takes His grace. I tend to “love” a lot. But sometimes feel convicted that I don’t follow through with actions that show my love to everyone that I love. I have definitely felt like disliked by some that have said they loved me. Thank you for being so honest and helping us to like one another as well as love each other! love you and like you too! 🙂

    1. dear deb –
      I’m only in Liking101 – very much undeveloped in my mind and unfortunately too often in practice.
      I hope to take a few more runs at this from different angles and I’m very interested in your perspective!
      I love AND like you, too! 😀

  3. Another awesome post. It does matter if we are liked or not, it matters a lot. I can act in a loving manner towards someone, but that does not mean I like them…
    Thanks Debbie…you are the best!

    1. Hello Greg!
      I always would have said that loving was the harder part.
      Now I’m questioning how to define and separate the two and wondering at what point I’m simply opting out of grace?
      At the very least, I’m trying to error on the positive side! 😀
      Thank you for being such a kind friend.
      I hope to take this up in other forms and look forward to your input!

  4. I like/love this post and like the added pondering comments. I was having a hard time loving / liking and “felt” in the last couple years I had jumped the hurdle to love more unconditionally but now considering the like portion – Have I?

      1. It did start with the alcoholic long ago….I couldn’t change his life but I could show love. More recently I have been interacting with a few that others do not like and “warn” me about them. I would find myself reacting in ways I didn’t like so I’d go pray. I have “worked” to just accept that they too are God’s children. they many not know how to honor others, share, respect or other things but I have to demonstrate Him. I don’t always get it right but I press on! Doesn’t mean I like them or what they do so still my question too.

      2. Interesting, Judi – is it possible to separate an action from a person? I’m a fairly quick study when it comes to non-verbals which can close doors rather than open them.

  5. Oooh-whee, preach it, Debbie! I’m probably in the gray area, somewhere–liking and loving are usually pretty meshed, for me (I love the folks I like; like those I love.). And I have some confessions: that thing I used to hear about “love is a decision, not a feeling”–well, that’s hard. And much as it pains me to admit, I think I’m often guilty of loving conditionally–if the screen goes black, I probably just dropped a whole bunch of “likes”. The authenticity issue–it’s tough, when you assume people ARE being real, and you like them, maybe even love them, and then discover it was mostly sham. I used to play up all my negatives when I met people–give ’em a good chance to run out the door–I figured it was honest and fair. Now days, I’m a recluse–and the blog neighborhood gets a balance of “lovely” and “less than”–but it’s all pretty truthful, I’m not a game-player. Okay, moving along. God bless you Big–LOVE, sis Caddo

    1. Oh Caddo –
      Yes a mishmash of love and like here, too.
      Honestly, whether it’s face to face or in “blogland” or email, we all are continually choosing how much of ourselves to reveal.
      I think this is largely due to our desire to be ‘liked’ – or at least, to walk away from every encounter unscathed.
      It’s problematic that words are always subject to interpretation.
      I think the closest I’ve come to unconditional loving is with my children and they’re both so much nicer than I am that it’s not a true test. 😉
      I’m not settled on the call to “like”. I’m in the gut-check phase.
      Thank you, Caddo, for being the real deal and sharing yourself here. I value that so much!

    1. dear buckwheatsrisk –
      I wasn’t especially clear on this one, because I’m not entirely clear on this myself. I do know myself well enough to know I’m in much greater danger of liking too little than I am of liking too much… and that becomes something very grace-less.
      Thank you for ‘getting it’ and following this path with me!

  6. I have been pondering what it is about this post that ‘uneases’ me. I decided that I’ve created an out for myself when I know it says “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” No argument from me, there. I must love.

    BUT I have, as you said so well, allowed my standard of whether I like someone to be based on their actions and attitudes. Instantly grace falls from my position and I am the judge, not the lover. I’ve used the word dislike to give me an out.

    Obviously, this is not to say that if I love you I have to agree with you, obey you, allow you to use me wrongfully… but it does mean if I don’t agree with you or your choices, I still must find a way to love you without this parcel of contradictions that place me in a superior position. That surely isn’t love and it isn’t grace, either. I have a lot yet to think on regarding this post. Thank you for the serving of grace today, Debbie!

    1. I agree with Heidi 100%: There is a lot to think about here. “Like” to me, seems “man-made” ??? Or self-reflecting? I like you because you are “like me”? I like what you do, and i judge you because i am the judge of you? Much to think about.

      1. I like you too. My heart is “love”. That’s what makes it vulnerable, but it keeps BEATING! Can’t beat that with a stick!

      2. Mel –
        There are so many ways to define like – just as there are many different ways to define love. If we look at like as enjoy or prefer then I’m not sure this applies. Possibly it’s easier to look at the inverse – at dislike.
        More to come… 😀

    2. Heidi –
      You’ve gone a long way here in shedding light on my somewhat ambiguous post. Thank you!
      We’re commanded to love, not to “like” – however, we’re told to do so many other things: forgive, show compassion, extend mercy, serve, etc… that if all of that is put into practice, I think the options for “disliking” begin to shrink.
      I’m still kicking this one around in my head – thanks for kicking back!

  7. Debbie, as usual, another profound and touching blog post. Boy, could I relate to the walls going up when someone professes to love me, but doesn’t seem to like me very much. I like your blog. I like you. Thank you, dear Debbie.

    1. Oh Lori –
      You make me smile.
      I like you, too! 😀
      How interesting that you use the phrase “professes to love me”.
      Feeling loved and feeling not liked at the same time are so incongruent that I think we tend disbelieve any affirmation in the light of condemnation.

      1. In pondering about this further, as I sometimes tend to do, another realization came to mind. I can’t speak for anyone else, but for me, it’s all about the actions. Someone can say the word “love”, but if they are not treating me right in their actions, it says to me that they not only don’t like me, they’re lying about loving me too. Perhaps they are loving me the only way that particular person knows how to love, but it doesn’t make it hurt any less when their actions say something different than their words. If that makes any sense.

      2. Yes, that makes perfect sense, Lori.
        Sometimes we make excuses for ourselves and for others by saying “we/they did the best they could” when it is blatantly untrue (a post in the making).
        I often use these posts as a place to refute idioms but “actions speak louder than words” is irrefutable.
        Thank you for continuing this dialogue!

  8. All I can think is boundaries. See Heidi’s post.

    I have a “love” for humanity because i think we are profoundly in need of love. Maybe i’m mixed up; maybe i say “love” too much; but I have a missing “like” LINK.

    My friends are people who are “real” to me; they don’t have to have the same hobbies; they don’t have to be slim (or rich) or FASCINATING: They have to have a heart and be compassionate. I prefer the “truth” from people … I love, maybe i don’t like much.

    1. Oh Mel –
      I was pretty much just thinking out loud here.
      Like isn’t a Biblical concept (not the literal term like, at least) so I think it comes down to definitions and I didn’t offer any.
      I’ll try to write a follow up post and see if I can pin it down a little better.

      1. No worries. I have my own “mind” about things. It’s ok. I never really follow anything “properly”… and that’s OK by me, love! You are so wise!

  9. Thanks Debbie, once again you’ve given me a tasty morsel to savor! I delight in your posts. It’s like a nice piece of dark chocolate, rich, satisfying, not overly sweet, not meant to be rushed. When I check my email and see two minutes grace I feel excitement and joy! Thanks for sharing your journey!

    1. Dear Carol –
      Careful or you’ll have me sounding like Sally Fields! 😉
      Your word picture is wonderful and your sentiment is so touching.
      It’s hard for me to picture anyone being excited to see my posts.
      I’m always just concerned that people not feel obligated to read what I write.
      Thank you so much for being so encouraging and kind! I’m amazed.

  10. Wow. Jesus likes me. Never thought of it like that before. That is lovely.

    Someone called me a “beautiful soul” on Sunday. I am treasuring that. I bring it into consciousness, and get a little “Ooh” of pleasure each time.

    1. hello Clare
      It’s intriguing isn’t it – the thought of Jesus liking us?
      What words of grace were spoken to you when you were told you have “a beautiful soul”.
      I doubt that that individual had any idea how treasured those words would be.
      That’s such a lovely example of grace as an action, not just a trendy word.

  11. Absolutely matters. I’d rather be liked by my friends. We throw the word love around far too much anyway for it to hold the weight I think it should. And to think Jesus likes me? Yes, that’s just amazing!

    1. Debby –
      To be honest, this is a whole new area for me. I’m sorting through it here in print.
      I’ve felt fine about loving and not liking in the past. I suppose the definition of “like” is an issue.
      What I do know about myself is that my “not liking” can quickly slip into something very devoid of grace.
      I have miles to go in thinking through this and I really value your thoughts. Thank you!

  12. I clicked like because even though I have not met you, I like what you write, therefore, surely I would like you in person. Or would i? Do we write from our authentic self, or do we write what we think others will like? In thinking about what you write, I think you write from your authentic self, therefore, I read and muse over your words.
    I don’t know if this makes sense or not.

    1. Oh Linda –
      I don’t know? I hope you would like me in person. 😀
      You’re quite right of course, we only know what someone chooses to reveal of themselves which is never everything.
      That makes perfect sense.
      I think I’m more in danger of “over-sharing” than of being disingenuous since virtually all of my posts point to some personal weakness or struggle. That said, I also know that even my own knowledge of myself isn’t as complete as I’d like to think.
      I’m very glad that you clicked like and that you know me well enough to think I have “liking” potential! 😀

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