More Thoughts on Loving and Liking

I wanted to clarify a few things from my last post.  Here are four things that I do not mean when I say that loving and liking someone is the same thing:

  • I don’t mean that you have to be buddy-buddy with every person.  There is a way to be gentle, respectful, kind, truthful, and interested in their well-being without being a “friend.”
  • I don’t mean that you have to be “nice” at the expense of truth.  For more on this, read this post.
  • I don’t mean that you have to agree with — or even be tolerant of — every opinion out there.
  • I don’t mean that you have eliminate emotions and never get frustrated, angry, sad, etc.

As Christians, we are called to genuinely love every person since they are made in God’s image.  Romans 12:9, 10 says, “Let love be genuine…Outdo one another in showing honor.”  If you do not genuinely like someone, I’m willing to bet you won’t try very hard to love them, and you won’t go out of your way to show them honor.  Paul commands us in Galatians 6:10 to do good to everyone.  Doing good comes from a heart-level desire for the benefit of another’s well-being.  If you do not like someone, you will not be concerned for their well-being.

By God’s grace, let us pursue the great exhortation of Paul to the young Timothy: “The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith” (1 Tim. 1:5).


Powlison on Marital Intimacy

CCEF has provided video interviews with biblical counselor David Powlison on questions about marital intimacy:


Tripp on Not Seeing the Anger that Lives in You

In part 5 of the “How to Be Good and Angry” seminar, Paul Tripp talks about what happens if you fail to acknowledge that anger is something that lives inside of you, not outside of you.  He said that if you fail to acknowledge this:

  • You will personalize what is not personal.
  • You will turn God-given moments of ministry into moments of anger.
  • You will be adversarial in your response.
  • You will settle for quick situational solutions that don’t get to the heart of what is really going on (such as breaking off relationship, moving locations, giving condemnation, slandering the person, manipulating to get someone in your favor).

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Related Posts:


Be a Pipeline of God’s Mercy

Sometimes when we are merciful toward others, we do it out of religious pride.  Other times, we do it begrudgingly simply because it’s the “Christian thing to do.”  But Jesus tells us that the foundation for our being merciful should be an overflow of love for how God has treated us:

But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.  Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful (Luke 6:35-36).

God is kind to the ungrateful and evil in that he sent his Son to die for us while we were still enemies (see Rom. 5:8-10). He was merciful while we were stomping all over his glory. So Jesus says, “the Father has been kind to you evil people, so you should go and be the same to others who are evil.”

We need to ask ourselves, “When am I not merciful?” I find that most often, I am not merciful in the mundane things of life. Don’t you agree?  We yell at people in traffic. We think other people shouldn’t be in line at Wal-Mart when we are.  We get angry at others because they don’t “respect” us.  We punish others emotionally and socially because of some sin they have done against us. We give people the cold shoulder who didn’t accomplish the “wonderful plan” we have for their life (one that really was an avenue for our own betterment).

We must strive to be merciful. Why? Because Jesus said, “The measure you use it will be measured back to you” (Luke 6:38).  If Christ has saved you, you are an evil and ungrateful child of the Most High God.  He has given you so much mercy.  Don’t keep it all to yourself.


Paul Tripp on How Good Things Become Bad Things

Paul Tripp shows the progression of how good things in life become bad things, and then proceed to ruin our relationships. (This isn’t an exact quote, just my paraphrase.)

Desire is basically an “I want…” Jesus did this Gethsemane. But then he said, “Father, not my will, but yours be done.” Well, our desire then morphs very quickly into a demand: “I must…” Desire then morphs further into a need: “I will…I cannot live without it.” When you call something a need, you have made yourself unwilling to live without it. A need then morphs into an expectation: “You should.” The Expectation leads to disappointment: “You didn’t…” Then disappointment leads to punishment: “Because you didn’t, I will…”

Then you will say to the other person, “Because you haven’t delivered what I want in this relationship, I won’t stick a knife in your chest, but I will rise to the throne of creator, and I will treat you as if you are dead, for however long it takes, to satisfy my personal vengeance.”

Check out the full DVD (6 sessions).  You won’t be disappointed.