Wanting to be liked and wanting to appear significant are really big motivators, springing often from insecurities present in our hearts, all the while actually leading us astray from true friendship and true significance. We can easily fall into the trap of thinking that appearing significant will win us friends, but this sets up a scenario of abuse. For people to come to us on the basis of what they have to gain from being close to us is another motivation that is destructive, both to the superstar and to his or her worshippers. Unfortunately, this is everywhere you look in Christianity and church circles today, as I am sure it ever has been, as well as being very common in the world around us.
We need to realize that wanting to be liked has unique capacity to damage real significance, as it tends to keep us from exposing ourselves and our reputations to risk. Significance and risk often have a relationship, which sets up a tension between real significance and pursuit of popularity. We need to be free from the control of these motivators if we are to live the life we are called to live!
Bear in mind, I am not trying to provide excuse for being unlikable or unkind as a reaction to perceived rejection or the risk of being disliked. Reaction can plunge us just as deeply into bondage as cooperation with temptation. The life of Jesus abides as our persistent example in human interaction. To live as He lived and follow His lead is our calling, and one that His grace makes doable. Letting love be our highest goal will establish us in a solid way, and let’s let the Lord join us up with those that seem fitting to Him.