The Addiction of Being Liked

A few years ago, I probably would have felt that I had things all together (maybe that should have been my first hint that something wasn’t quite right!). I was busy and fulfilled with my teaching job, volunteering several nights a month, teaching missions classes, and being involved with programs of all kinds. 

After I got married and had my daughter, my priorities and my schedule changed. At first, the shift in focus was exciting – something I had looked forward to. Over time, though, I began to miss my old activities and how they made me feel needed and appreciated. Now I had to say “no” a lot. I couldn’t be involved in things like I used to. In some ways I felt like I had been forgotten. When I wasn’t busy doing these “good” things, I felt like a lesser Christian.

Then several months ago, I started reading a book called Jesus + Nothing = Everything by Tullian Tchividjian. In this book, among a lot of other good things, the author stresses the sufficiency of Jesus – not just for our salvation, but to rescue us from self-reliance, fear, insecurity, and so on.  Tchividjian says, “. . .the gospel alone can free us from our addiction of being liked. . . Jesus measured up for us so we don’t have to live under the enslaving pressure of measuring up for others” (p. 23). (If you want a reminder of Christ’s sufficiency in all things, check out Colossians 1.)

Since I realized this, I have had such freedom from the slavery of making myself more “qualified.” It doesn’t mean that I live however I want – my love for Jesus should me to obey Him. But instead of being self-absorbed and preoccupied with my own efforts, focusing on what Christ has done transforms my life and fashions both the details and overall purpose. For me, living like God is real means daily reminding myself of all that I already have in Christ!


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