Thursday, December 23, 2010

I Want To Be Hated

I just finished the book Radical by David Platt the other day on the plane ride back from Colorado. Oh man... I would recommend that book to anyone who knows the Lord and wants to learn more about His desires for them.

Although there were many things I will carry with me for years to come, the concept I seemed to latch on to the most was the fact that Jesus said we will be hated if we follow Him. Jesus even said "You will be hated by all for my name's sake." (Luke 21:17)

I think Christians today tend to believe that the more Christ-like they become, the more they will be liked/accepted/loved. If you think about it, though, wasn't Christ hated? He was put on a cross even though He had done NOTHING wrong, after all. Don't you think those people might have disliked Him a little bit? The more Christ-like we become, the more our thinking will be different from their thinking, the more we'll tell people that their ways aren't the ways of God, and the more we won't participate in things that aren't honoring to the Lord. Also, as we get to know the Lord and become like Him, we will show more of His character by the way we live and talk. That's a bit intimidating and people might feel pressured to change. They could feel guilty of their sin and see what they need to revive in their lives and surrender to Jesus, but also realize that it would be at the cost of pleasure. What if they don't like that? What if they don't want to be with me or talk to me or be my friend? How am I supposed to reach out to them if they don't want to have anything to do with me any more because of my faith?

The thing is that, naturally, I am the people-pleaser of all people-pleasers. I desperately want people to like me and accept me and respect me. Then again, I want people to hate me. My desire is to be so radically His that people are frustrated and confused and hate me for the seemingly nonsensical decisions I make for the cause of Christ.

The paradox of these desires pose problems for how I will choose to live my life. Will I deliberately choose to forego my people-pleasing tendencies and be willing to be disliked for God's glory or will I deliberately choose to go the "easy" route and make people happy with me and avoid disagreements? Because, after all, both choices are deliberate and intentional. Even if I continue to be a people-pleaser, I am making the choice to do so by not changing my actions.

Which will you choose? What a tough decision with severe implications. For me... I pray I will strive with everything in me to be so close to the Lord that I can't help but be hated and mocked by the world. After all, what could be the worst someone could do to me? Kill me? Death will do nothing bad to me, but simply let me be with my savior in glory. All I need is Christ, and if I am persecuted I know He is good and He has me in His hands. "For me to live is Christ, to die is gain." (Philippians 1:21)

“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. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father also. If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’
(John 15:18-25 ESV)

1 comment:

cristina said...

"What if they don't like that? What if they don't want to be with me or talk to me or be my friend? How am I supposed to reach out to them if they don't want to have anything to do with me any more because of my faith?"

made me think of:

2 cor. 2
14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life.


the aroma of Christ in you will attract those who are being called from death into life, but those who are perishing will hate you. we are not the ones who turn hearts towarde God, only He--we just join Him in what He's doing or we choose to miss out.

Can't wait to hear more of your "rambles" from rome.....

praying for all of you,

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