He’s everywhere. Dictating what we do, who we hang out with, what we listen to and even what we choose to believe.

 “Like” is the little helper who can go from accompanying us to the store as a healthy aid in shopping and, from there, quietly grow into the tyrant we cherish who ruthlessly dictates everything we think and do.

What we like becomes more important than what God has said.

The pastor or speaker we like is deemed better than the one on whom God’s favor rests who biblically challenges our thinking or makes us uncomfortable.

The person we like is more deserving of love and prayer than our enemies.

* * *

The Like monster not only keeps individuals outside of church community, but befriends those within it. As seen in our previous blog, some believers in Christ now carry questions as to whether or not God likes them. Rather than glorying in the tsunami of Old and New Testament truths showcasing God’s stunning love, for example, we find ourselves wrestling with Like:

The joy robber.

The truth suppresser.

* * *

Dare I say that should we like the Apostle Paul well enough—and he be available to accept our invite—he’d long to impart wisdom on how to deal with the tyranny of Like. Then again, his personal, working battle plan and exhortation to the church at Corinth (and us, by extension) does just that:

“We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”

(2 Corinthians 10:5)

What I either like or find displeasure in has, as times, resulted in speculations which taint my discernment or understanding of Scripture. The uncompromising light of God’s Word and prick of the Holy Spirit often expose the way in which my preferences subtly raise themselves up against the knowledge of God, as Paul put it.

The apostle’s reference to the knowledge of God encompasses the gospel of Jesus Christ and all he and the those penning Scripture wrote of: The functional or working knowledge resulting from first-hand experience with God and His Word, connecting theory and application gained through direct relationship with Him. This “applied knowledge” Paul wrote of (using the Greek word, gnosis) is, as Bible Hub explains, “…only as accurate (reliable) as the relationship it derives from.” So any time we “apply knowledge” apart from what God has revealed through His Word and historical interactions with humanity, we risk building speculations—little idols we feel pretty good about.

If you’re only half with me here, please pinch yourself into focus!

Paul was writing to believers living in a culture not so different from ours: Gnosticism was infiltrating the church, which—similar to our temptation to grossly inflate the merits of what we like—placed an individual’s “applied knowledge” from their own spiritual thoughts and experiences over and above God’s Word.

For this group, love of their knowledge towered before them, blocking what should have been their view of God.

Similarly, our “likes” can become lofty. When this occurs, they’re really nothing more than vain imaginations and forms of idolatry. 

* * *

Paul communicated that he and those in the trenches with him were destroying the speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God. Their targets weren’t physical, but spiritual strongholds of the mind and heart which needed toppling. They were on a search and destroy mission. And notice how these believers’ game-plan was not a theory or one-time endeavor. It was an ongoing, present-tense engagement of the will.

There’s more. Like Paul and his companions, we are to be taking (yesongoing, present tense) every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, including those from the Like monster.

* * *

Being managed by what we or others like is not our calling.

Continually laying our preferences and likes at the feet of Jesus, who exemplified submission and obedience to God, is.

* * *

The Like monster wants our Christian walk and churches to be consumer or culturally driven (that is, by what we or others like).

That’s fine for a restaurant, my friend, but not for our spiritual lives!

Knowing the difference between our delightful, God-given preferences and those which work against the soul occurs when cherishing and walking in the knowledge of  God becomes our greatest desire.

And having Like relegated back to his proper place, I’m reminded, is freeing!

* * *

Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord.

Joyful are those who obey His laws and search for Him with all their hearts.

They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in His paths.

You [Lord] have charged us to keep Your commandments carefully.

Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect Your decrees!

Then I will not be ashamed when I compare my life with Your commands.

As I learn Your righteous regulations, I will thank You by living as I should.

I will obey Your decrees.

Please don’t give up on me!

 [Psalm 119:1-8, NLT]

June

June

People Lover. Author. Blogger. Speaker. Forgiven Much & Wild About God. Learn about June's latest book on her website.

2 Comments

  • Beryl says:

    As I read and re-read through this blog multiple times, God impressed on me how I need to be praying more earnestly for the youth of our country. The word “like” is used so casually, some cannot even say one sentence without using “like” at least once. I have had my eyes opened to what do I “like” … is what I like more important to me than being a Christ follower? May it not be

    • June says:

      Thank you, Beryl. I’m susceptible to giving the Like monster too much rein and appreciate your sharing about praying for our young people. Great insight!

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