Oh how we treasure this icon. On Facebook, this is the button that reinforces our deepest hopes...we are appreciated, we are beautiful, we are liked.
There are no subtle nuances in children, are there? If a daughter wants affirmation from her daddy, she'll come right out and ask, "Daddy, am I your princess?" or something along those lines. Our sons beam when they hear the phrase, "I'm proud of you, son!" It is built into the fabric of our being: we want to be liked.
Those subtleties morph into something more sophisticated, though, as we grow older. And Facebook has given us the perfect avenue of acquiring affirmation with its iconic Like button. We don't need to assume that it's a bad thing to need this. I'm not even going to address why or how often we hope for likes on Facebook photos we post. The fact is...we need encouragement.
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. Hebrews 3: 13
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5: 11
During the course of our days, whether in real life or in the virtual world, we encounter people who need to be lifted up. They've been brought down, torn apart and just plain discouraged. Sometimes we respond with what they need, right? And other times we don't. Other times we rush along and complete our pressing daily agendas. Other times we judge their motives and assume they're fishing for compliments and unworthy of my praise.
How we could be an agent of change, though, if we just encouraged others and gave people that much-desired "Like" during our days. Before we can do this, it's important to have eyes to see the good works that others are doing. We also need to check our own pride at the door. With more sanctified sight and a humble heart we can freely and generously provide encouragement to those in need.
And...we're all in need.
My prayer is to be crazy-generous in encouraging others. Whether they need encouragement because of something so big as the deteriorating morals of our culture or something so small as growing older and dealing with physical changes, I want to hit that "Like" button so often in others' lives that people are filled with joy and hope.
When I'm not stingy with liking things about others, then the Lord is glorified because He is seen more clearly through me. And that's the point, isn't it? To glorify Him, make Him bigger and make myself smaller.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13: 35