Thursday, December 22, 2016
I was reminded this past Tuesday morning about a popular top ten song in the early sixties by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles titled, “You Really Got A Hold On Me.” It started off with this seemingly contradictory line: “I don’t like you, but I love you.” Back then, that phrase made no sense to me. I thought to not like but love someone was not possible. I have since changed my opinion, one reason being that I have seen it in the Word of God.
I remember one often used phrase many years ago concerning the great American humorist and screen actor of the past, Will Rogers. He was once quoted as saying : “I never met a man that I didn’t like.” Well many comedians of that era would quote that saying and then add: “Yeah, but he probably never met _________ .” I suppose some of you immediately thought of someone’s name you could fill in the blank with. If we’re honest most of us can think of family members, friends, or people in our life that fit the bill. We don’t like them but we love them. To be more specific, we don’t like their ways. Think about this: If our friends and loved ones can be unlikeable, does it not stand to reason that we can be unlikeable as well?
The truth is that God can and has gotten angry with His people, yet He never stopped loving them. Asaph wrote in Psalm 85:4-5 “Restore us again, God our Savior, and put away your displeasure toward us. Will you be angry with us forever? Will you prolong your anger through all generations?” But right before this plea we see that God had been angry with them before but later forgave and restored them. He did that because He loved them. It is an eternal truth that God can get angry with His children because they have done things which are more than unlikable. If you feel that God has indeed chastised or is doing it right now, it may be that you did something He didn’t like. But take heart; Hebrews 12:5-6 reads: “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his child.” Bottom line: let’s make a sincere effort not to be unlikable.
God’s promise for today: (Psalm 30:5) “For His anger lasts only a moment, but His favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”