If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. John 15:18-19
No one likes being hated, do they? Most of our lives we try to fit in. Even if we think we are free spirits trying to stand out, we want to be accepted for what we are. As a Christian, I want people to like me so they can be drawn to Christ in me. I want them to feel empathy and comfort from me. I want them to feel free to open their hearts to me so I can pray with them. I want them to think, “Wow! She is so nice and has such a gentle spirit. If that is what having Christ in your life means, I want it too.” I don’t want them to hate me.
But, not everyone loved this Jesus whom I follow while He was here on earth. They misunderstood Him, persecuted Him, beat Him and eventually killed Him. They did not understand, even after He had risen. The Hebrews were hated by the neighboring tribes in Canaan because they didn’t worship Baal and other gods. The prophets were scorned by the kings and authorities they often spoke out to, calling them to repent. I guess being a servant of God is not a personality contest after all. So, what is it?
It is standing for justice and truth and humbly honoring every person’s dignity. It is being a servant, but it is also being willing to stand up for what we believe in, and not wavering. It is not hating others, but praying for them instead because they are sinners, just like us, in need of a Savior. It is being willing to serve, not people but God.
I Peter 2:16-17,21 says: Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. . . For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.
I have to ask myself, if no one hates me, am I truly acting like my Savior? Or am I hiding too much in the comfort of other believers so I will be liked? I know, God, in His mercy will answer that for me, and give me the strength to accept the answer.