THE POWER OF LIKE
Over the years I have heard many sermons about love. But last Sunday morning I heard a sermon not about love, but about like.
The sermon was preached by my minister, Scott Walters, at Calvary Episcopal Church, and I liked the sermon. I really liked it!
Scott referenced the Old Testament passage in which Isaiah told the children of Israel that God delighted in them and rejoiced over them. He didn’t just love them. He liked them!
The exhiled children of Israel had experienced suffering, chaos and pain. And Isaiah gave them great news. God really liked them just as they were.
Scott’s sermon got me to thinking about the power of like. In theology and culture, we all talk and hear a lot about love. For God so loved the world...Love your neighbor as yourself.
Our favorite songs have always been about love. “Love is a Many Splendored Thing”...”What the World Needs Now is Love Sweet Love”...and Luther Ingram’s classic hit “If Loving You is Wrong I don’t Wanna Be Right.”
But we don’t really appreciate how wonderful it is to be liked!
We sometimes confuse “love” and “like”.
One of my favorite jokes when I was a child went like this. Someone would say, “I love fried chicken!” And I would cleverly respond, “You love fried chicken? Well then, WHY DON’T YOU MARRY IT?!!!!”
The truth is that like can be as powerful as love. We often love people that we really don’t like. We love them because they are family or friends we feel need our love, or we need their love.
But we really cherish people we like or who like us. One of the real joys in life is found when we realize somebody really likes us! We are like Sally Fields accepting the Oscar and gleefully screaming, “You like me! You really like me!”
And isn’t it wonderful when you realize that your spouse, your parent, a child or friend not only loves you...They like you. They really do!
Fred Rogers often ended his “Mr. Rogers Show” by singing a song called “It’s You I Like.” He would tell us, “It’s you I like/The way you are right now.”
What a caring thought and extraordinary compliment.
It was so much more meaningful than if he had sung “It’s You I Love”.
Well that’s the end of this column.
I hoped you liked it.