God isn’t always likable.
We can pretend like He is. Like it’s always easy to understand His rationale behind the things He does. Or that undergoing His grace-filled discipline is a fun exercise. But it’s not. It can actually be downright frustrating.
Now sometymes this is true because people try to fashion God into what they would want their ideal friend or version of God to be like. They dictate the parts of God they can accept and the parts they won’t. You hear them say things like:
I wouldn’t like a God who did ________.
I couldn’t believe in a God who ________.
These people have already set the terms of a likable God. And that god tends to be a reflection of what they like about themselves. Until they come to understand that God is not limited to the confines of their own opinions and prejudices, there’s really not much you can do for them.
Some of you fall into that category. But most of you probably don’t. Instead you’re probably like other people who experience pain. Struggle. Disappointment. Discipline. And in these moments, if you were honest, you don’t always find God very likable.
You don’t say things like the other group. Yet you wonder:
How could God let this happen to me?
Why won’t He take me out of this situation?
I thought God was a God of grace. Why am I being disciplined for my sin?
What do we do in these situations? What do we do when we don’t like God?
Well, there’s not really much you can do. Whether you like it or not, we’re all going to undergo tymes of pain, struggle, disappointment, and discipline. There’s no way around it.
Instead I think the biggest thing is coming to an important realization:
It doesn’t matter if I like God.
God’s not interested in making me like Him. God’s not trying to stay in my good graces. What He is interested in is making me love Him more. What He’s interested in is doing what’s best for me. And what’s best for me isn’t always a likable thing.
God is like any good parent. A good parent doesn’t always try to be buddy, buddy with their kids. They love their kids but they’re not interested in whether their kids like them from day to day. They’ll let their kids learn tough lessons because they know that’s how they’ll grow and develop character. They’ll lay down the law if they’re disobedient. And that doesn’t diminish their love for their kids in the least bit. In fact, their kids will eventually realize it was because their parents loved them that they did things that didn’t make them like them.
God can handle you not liking Him. What he can’t handle is you not being like Him. What He can’t handle is you not truly loving Him. And so He’ll do what He has to do to make you into who He wants you to be.
You may not always like Him for it. But trust me, in the end, you’ll love Him for it.