He Likes Me. By Judah Smith
Bible Reading: 1 John 4:16
I’m glad I’m no longer single. I hope that doesn’t sound negative. If you are single, it’s a great stage of life. I’m just happy I’m no longer in it, that’s all. I no longer have to try to figure out if Chelsea likes me, or what the status of our relationship is, or whether it’s too soon to say “I love you.”
Not that marriage removes the guesswork, of course. For millennia, it’s been the sacred and certainly impossible quest of husbands everywhere to understand their wives. But that’s another topic.
If you’re single, this whole business of figuring out if someone likes you is paramount. And it’s a bit of a black art. It’s a complex mix of trial and error, reading between the lines, asking advice from friends, and sheer guesswork.
For instance, a guy sends a girl a text message. He accidentally leaves the caps lock on because he was driving and shouldn’t have been texting in the first place.
So she shows it to all her friends. “He sent his message in ALL CAPS! What does that mean? Is he angry? Is he shouting? Is he just really happy?”
Emoji haven’t helped much. “She used the scared face emoji. Does that mean she’s excited? Or that I’m moving too fast? Or that she’s thinking of breaking up with me? OMG what does it mean?”
You have to read into eye contact, body language, facial expressions, and casual comments.
“She said my hair is interesting. Is that because she loves my new haircut? Or because she just noticed it’s thinning on top?”
“He gave me a side hug. Is he saying I’m like a sister to him? Or a friend? Or his soulmate?”
Romantic relationships aren’t the only time we try to guess if people like us or not. Many of us do it all the time. Family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, bosses, strangers at the store—we continually wonder if we are making a good impression, if we are measuring up to people’s expectations.
Some of that is normal. It’s a part of being socially aware, and it’s a skill that is necessary in any community. But here’s the problem. Often we do the same thing with God. We think we have to read between the lines to figure out what God thinks of us. Does he like me? Does he accept me? Does he love me?
We analyze our feelings, we weigh our behavior, we read into our circumstances, we employ our intellect and logic—all in an effort to discover what the Bible already told us, if we would just believe it: God loves us.
We don’t need to guess. We don’t need to get someone else’s opinion. We don’t need to stay up at night wondering and worrying. It’s a fact, and nothing will change that.
The apostle John wrote:
We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. (1 John 4:16)
No matter what happens, no matter how we feel, and no matter what circumstances we might be facing, we need to know how much God loves us, and we need to put our trust in his love.
Let me give you another illustration. My dad was one of the most secure, humble, confident people I have ever known. He could talk to anyone. He got along with everyone.
Millionaires, business owners, politicians, athletes, ex-convicts, drug addicts—it didn’t matter. He wasn’t intimidated or insecure.
One day he told me his secret. “I just assume everyone likes me unless they tell me otherwise.”
The advice probably doesn’t work so well for singles. Not everyone is in love with you. But when it comes to the rest of your relationships—including your relationship with God—it is one of the most profound pieces of advice I’ve ever heard. I took it to heart, and I try to live by it.
With God, you don’t even have to assume he likes you. He’s already made clear his love for you. You just have to accept it. Accept that God likes you. Accept that he’s madly in love with you. Accept that he is on your side all the time.
God will let you know if there’s a problem. He’ll tell you if you need to change something or fix something.
In the meantime, learn to enjoy him. Learn to love him back. Learn to know and trust in his love.
Questions for Reflection
• Do you ever doubt God’s love for you? Why or why not? How should you respond when that happens?
• What does it mean to you to trust in God’s love?
• How does the fact that God will let you know if you need to change something help you relax and simply enjoy him more?
Judah and Chelsea Smith are the lead pastors of the City Church based in Seattle, Washington. Judah is a well-known speaker at conferences and churches around the world.