If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. – John 15:18-19One of the hallmarks of the Christian faith over the ages is that many Christians have been vilified for their convictions. When the Christians were thrown to the lions of Rome the spectators cried out, “Kill the atheists.” To proclaim allegiance to Christ was to be in rebellion to the deity of Caesar. This Christ allegiance compels us to engage our culture, but in doing so we expose the separation that the world around us has from God. That exposure is rarely met with open arms. At some point in our Christian faith we must draw the line and stand for something that will infuriate people. It is happening now in India, Malaysia, China, Iraq, Iran and, at a lesser level, even in the United States. But this is the path that Jesus took and He calls us to follow him. He chose us to break the holds of worldly conformity and to bring us into significance. We are chosen out of the world into our true citizenship; the Kingdom of heaven.
Today’s commentary by:
Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor, GraceNYC.org
This is so hard. To be called out. It's tough to be hated, so this scripture if very comforting to me. I have been watching Creflo Dollar lately and I'm so impressed with his ability to call out sin as to what it is..... sin. He's been doing it in a way I haven't seen in YEARS. He is not placating or making nice, he is quoting scripture and calling out people. He will be hated, because Christ was hated. When you call people out for their sins, they have a tendency to want to get back at you. They want to stone you for not believing the way that they do. They want to break your belief, find sins in your life that show you to be a hypocrite, which we all are. They want to tear your eyes out. But a few want to know......
I have been given the talent of encouragement and encouragement is a great thing. But, it is very difficult when you have to encourage someone to leave a sin behind that they don't want to leave. How to walk away when they hate you for pointing out and encouraging a new way that needs to be taken. How to be there for them if they decide to change.