To Be Liked Or Disliked

November 15-21, 2020 – Joseph Castillo

My wife and I try to attend a marriage retreat every year.  If we can’t then we will purposely read a book on how to improve our marriage.  At one of those retreats about 6 years ago, I heard a statistic that blew me away.  According to the presenter the stats show that when a person enters a room of 10 people that they do not know, that 8 of the 10 will automatically like them.  The other 2 would also automatically dislike them.  He went on to say that if they win 1 of the 2 over, it doesn’t matter because someone else will begin to dislike them.

I remember when I was in highschool.  I was a freshman and I got along with everyone.  Except for one person.  We will call him Jason.  The weird thing about it was that most of the time he was really cool with me.  On other days he wanted to beat me up.  I really don’t know why he was like this.  I remember this one time I was walking down the hall with some of my friends when the men’s restroom door swung open and Jason rushed out and pushed me hard into a rose bush.  I was able to sidestep most of the bush.  I could see out of the corner of my eye that he started to run towards me.  Now, Jason was about 3 inches taller than me and weighed about 40 pounds more than I did and he was a sophomore.  I thought, “This is it.”  I could picture him beating me up in front of everyone.  

Well, as he started to rush toward me, three of my friends were walking towards the restroom.  When they realized what was happening they took off running and grabbed Jason and took him into the restroom. I won’t talk about what happened next.  There were three times I can remember when incidents like this happened to me involving Jason.  Every time they did a friend would show up right on time.

We have someone who not only dislikes us, but he totally hates us and wants to destroy us.  The Bible describes him as a hungry roaring lion ready to pounce.  He is looking to see who he can devour (1 Peter 5:8).  He is our enemy, Satan, and he is Jesus’ enemy too.  He wants nothing more than to make your life miserable.  He becomes angry when he sees that you have a relationship with Jesus.  
Then there’s Jesus.  He loves you with His whole heart (1 John 4:16).  Jesus loved us so much that He gave His life over to the roaring lion to protect us so that Satan could not touch us.  Sometimes even our family can let us down but the Bible says we have a friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24).  The Bible also says, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13).  Jesus is that friend!  He died so that we could live and He resurrected and lives now so that we can be with Him very soon.  I am so glad that He is my best friend and that He has my back!