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You and your Like-O-Meter

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By Dave Henning / June 21, 2017

“Spiritual growth requires that our life with God move from the should category to the ‘want to’ category, and the most basic assessment we have for any experience or event is what psychologist Jonathan Haidt calls our ‘like-o-meter.’ “- John Eldredge

In Chapter 7 (“Let Your Desires Lead You to God”) of The Me I Want to Be, John Ortberg introduces the “like-o-meter.”  He observes that as you grow up, experiences subconsciously register on your like – o – meter.  Thus, everything, including people, registers positively or negatively.

So, John asks, consider this thought: Do you like God?  Now, Pastor Ortberg admits, this sounds like a strange question.  However, the author stresses, you won’t be with God much if you have issues with Him.  Furthermore, it’s good to answer this question honestly.  You can’t take God out.  And “should” simply doesn’t possess the power to change your attitude.

Therefore, John states, “spiritual growth . . . means coming to want to do what I should do.”  When you come to understand the depth of God’s goodness, you want Him.  In addition, you not only love Him, you like Him (emphasis John’s).

Also, when you tell others they ought to do something, ought can be understood in one of two ways:

  1. the ought of obligation- our duty
  2. the ought of opportunity- gives us life

Specifically, Pastor Ortberg states, the main “ought” of Jesus’ message = the ought of opportunity.  That’s why the psalmist invites us to “taste and see that the LORD is good (Psalm 34:8).”

The psalmist’s convinced that one taste suffices for you to want all of God.

Today’s question: Following your ministry downsizing or vocation loss, where do you place God on your like-o-meter?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “A God-implanted desire in us”

About the author

Dave Henning


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