Are you well-liked?


Are you well-liked?

How much energy should be spent on being liked? That was the question I chatted about with my daughter. Early Years trauma has elevated and warped this question for her, which would be food for five blogs at least.

How far would you go? And why? As we talked, we found that you can’t bribe people into liking you, just as you can’t pay a friend to like chocolate or force somebody to like your hairstyle. We concluded that as God made us, whatever colour top we wear is probably not going to matter after all, for God wouldn’t change His mind on us, just because of a wardrobe failure or bad hair day.

I was thinking about this and then I thought about writing. I love writing, I enjoy it, and by the time I publish a book, accidental or not, I’m pretty pleased with the experience and feel I have my money’s worth of fun out of it anyway. Being Dutch, that is really all that matters.

Where is your worth found?

Until someone writes a kind review. Every time I get a review, I have to look twice. Someone has left me a review? That’s amazing, maybe they like me? My book, I mean, of course, we’re talking about liking my writing here. But they did mention my name in the review, called me author, so that refers to more than my book, right?

I almost do what characters that annoy me the most do in films: clasping their hands tightly together, pressing them just under their chin, giving off a long moaning sigh, their eyes glazed over and all sparkly with rapture.

Then I sit up straight and remind myself firmly that these people are just being kind and civil, so of course they’ll say nice things. Also, I write for my fun, so reviews don’t really matter anyway, they’re just the icing on the cake. Everyone knows the icing is the worst bit of the cake. Sweet, but terribly bad for you. It has incredible effects on my kids, too, so I’m well aware of the dangers of icing on cakes.

Isn’t it easy to feel so validated, because another human being says we’ve done some good work? We may have wrestled with our writing, the message or disobedient characters, and all the way through we have been determined to honour God, yet we easily forget His words about us. When He tells us we’re fearfully and wonderfully made, we think of our morning struggle with our hair. When He whispers, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” we mentally prepare a list with our shortcomings, be it missed typos or piled up laundry.

So here you are today, what to do to get liked cherished by God? As He has shown us, do justly and love mercy, and walk humbly with your God. Even when you get some wonderful reviews. Even when people advise us to maybe take up baking instead. Have a blessed day, revelling in the fact that you’re greatly loved, no matter what.

Maressa Mortimer is Dutch but lives in the beautiful Cotswolds, England with her husband and four (adopted) children. Maressa is a homeschool mum as well as a pastor’s wife, so her writing has to be done in the evening when peace and quiet descend on the house once more. She loves writing Christian fiction, as it’s a great way to explore faith in daily life.

Her debut novel, Sapphire Beach, was published in December 2019, and her first self published novel, Walled City, came out in December 2020, followed by Viking Ferry, a novella. Beyond the Hills is the second book in the Elabi Chronicles, and will be released in June 2021. All Maressa’s books are available from her website, or local bookshops.

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