Thinking Out Loud
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.
I like to be liked. Suffice it to say, I don’t like not being liked. I feel safe making this confession because frankly, I’ve never met anyone who genuinely claimed to enjoy not being liked. One of life’s realities is that sooner or later, you will meet someone who doesn’t like you. Maybe they simply dislike you because of something you can’t change. Maybe you did something that disappointed them. In either case… I don’t like not being liked. And neither do you.
The matter of needing to be liked, and the fear of not being liked becomes harmful when ones identity and sense of worth rests upon it. If the sense of value, worth and of well being is determined by what people think of you, then chances are, you spend a lot of time in self-doubt, discouragement and perhaps depression. The John Lydgate adage is true: “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” Obviously, living life in a pleasing way, with the aim to put others first and to serving them is biblical, but it is contrary to being a Christian to live in fear of not being liked or accepted. You cannot allow your fear of man (fear of not being liked) to dictate how you live and how you think of yourself.
The psalmist in Psalm 139 declares with awe the idea that the sovereign God of creation would choose to take thought of him.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you (17-18).
The context of the chapter tells us that the thoughts of which the psalmist writes are thoughts about him in particular, and about God’s people as a whole. They are numerous thoughts (more than the sand), and they are precious thoughts of me. I am ever on His mind, so while awake and while asleep, I am still with you. Simply put. God not only loves, but He likes His people. God likes you! God likes me!
The entire chapter speaks of God’s omniscience and omnipresence, particularly in regards to God’s people. Notice how he describes God’s active role in his development in the womb (Read 13-15). And then, while still yet unformed, every day that man now lives was, before time known and formed specifically for him (Read 16). The Lord is intimately and actively at work in our makeup and has laid out before us the life we would live.
Do you see what the psalmist is proposing? It is remarkable that the Lord, in His mercy chose to place His love upon you, knowing you for who your really are. Equally as remarkable (or perhaps more so) is that from eternity past, He chose you, loved you (Ephesians 1:3), knew you, and predestinated you to be conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8:28-29). In other words, you were created for God’s glory through the love that He abundantly pours out upon you.
If you are in Christ, you are loved. You are liked. And in this reality rests your true identity, your value and your worth.
Certainly, there will be times of insecurity because of a person’s opinion of you. At times you will wonder where you fit in, or if your life is making a difference. You’ll wonder if you have a purpose. You will experience struggles, failures, defeats, frustrations and self-doubt. The Christian is not exempt from human emotions, and for this you can thank the Lord. God’s grace however, keeps us from allowing these emotions to define us. God’s grace shows His strength in our weakness. God’s grace reminds us that we are in Christ, and…
… in Christ… you are loved!
… in Christ… you are liked!
… inChrist… you are accepted!
Your worth, your identity and your purpose is this, that you have be created for God’s glory. And His glory is manifested in the abundance of His love for you. So the more you revel in God’s love, the more of His glory is revealed in you and through you to the world. I like being liked, don’t you?
—Soli Deo Gloria! (To God Alone Be Glory!)