Christians: Expect to Be Hated

I have read a lot of comments online. One time I saw one that particularly intrigued me, though not in the way its writer intended. I don’t remember what the story was about, but it dealt with one of those issues where the reactions reveal a sharp divide between Christians and non-Christians.

The comment in question began, “Hey Christians – if you don’t want to be hated, here’s what you need to do.”  In essence the writer said Christians should just completely abandon their convictions in controversial but crucial areas. 

Well, I have news for the author of the comment: It is not our goal as Christians to avoid being hated. On numerous occasions, Jesus promised us that we would be hated. That is something we should expect and even embrace. Let’s just be sure we are hated for the right reasons. Being hated for the wrong reasons is not something to be embraced, let alone celebrated.

Jesus also said, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.  If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his Lord.  If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you: if they have kept my saying, they will keep your’s also.” (John 15:18-20).

The prophets were stoned more than applauded, hated more than celebrated, persecuted more than praised. Jesus said it would be the same for us – because of Him.

We live in a world where people act as if truth has to pass through their acceptability filter in order to be acknowledge as truth. They do not like to be reminded that “right” is not synonymous with what they want.  

They do not like to be reminded that there is a God whom they cannot control and to whom they are accountable. They do not like to be reminded that real freedom can only come to them when they approach God on His terms and at the expense of their own selfish desires and pride.

Our task as Christians is to inform and remind people of the truth; the truth that has set us free and can set them free as well. Whether or not others welcome or even tolerate that truth is not our concern.  It is our job to plant the seed.  Only God can make it grow.

Our task is not to be liked by everyone. Rather, our task involves being hated for the right reasons.

Let’s stand strong and tall, unashamed of the gospel of Jesus and unashamed of the principles of righteousness, which include standing for the unborn, for the family, for justice, for the poor.

But let us not confuse suffering for Christ with suffering for our carnality. The former is our honor. The latter is our shame.

source:  If we are to be Hated, let it Be for the Right Reason by Michael Brown, Townhall

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