I’m reading a book written by the author of The Shack, Wm. Paul Young. In fact, it was a topic on this week’s Embracing Brokenness Podcast. I’d encourage you to Listen Here.
Many of the premises in his book have been considered controversial. I will say this, as I’ve delved deeper into what Young is saying I find myself agreeing more than disagreeing with the vast majority of the Lies We Believe about God, the book’s title. I’ll focus on one of them here.
Lie #1: God Loves Us but Doesn’t Like Us.
I’ve sung Jesus loves Me more times than I can count. It’s just a known fact that God loves me. He loves you. God is love. It permeates everything He says He is and was demonstrated when He sent His only Son to live with us and show us what that love looks like in human flesh. He sacrificed it all for us, every one of us. We simply need to believe it and love Him back.
But that’s no guarantee that He likes us, is it? Wait, not so fast. Let’s not make it about God, let’s make it about the object of His relentless affection. That’s us. Those questions of – do you know me and like me? Is there anything about me worth knowing? Do you see me, and do you like what you see?
Fact: We were created in His image, with His characteristics and attributes. He knew us in our mother’s womb, before the foundation of the world. That’s a long time ago.
Of course, he likes you, he created you. He created all things and claimed them to be good except one – Man and Woman. He called them very good. Our limited understanding of unconditional love restricts our ability to accept love unconditionally. It’s the antithesis of what the world’s system tells us. Grab and go. Look after yourself, no one else will.
God is both love and like. As you establish a deeper intimacy with Him allow Him to co-create with you. To love you and to like you. We’re influenced so often by others who require performance or to be pleased to accept us. Not so with God. Just as you are, He not only loves but likes.
And that’s the memo.
By Steve Adams