Most people who can’t stand Christians actually like Jesus. Perhaps because we don’t follow him as closely as we think we do. I want to act like Jesus so people will like me like they like Jesus. And that starts with loving people no matter what the response might be…
For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him. This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.
1 John 3:11-16
Abel was hated, not for anything he did toward Cain, but rather because he was righteous. Cain illustrates Jesus’ words in John 3 when he said that people live darkness instead of light because their deeds are evil and they don’t want to be found out. In fact, Cain takes it a step further by murdering his own brother for walking in the light.
John tells us that we shouldn’t be surprised if people hate us. Likely, it is because we are walking in the light. Boy, I sure hope so. I know that is theoretically true, yet I think a whole bunch of people hate Christians because they feel hated by Christians, or because they perceive and air of hypocrisy in our lives.
Folks, it doesn’t have to be that way. You see, we can be hated by the world without acting as hypocrites. We can be hated without picking fights with people with whom we disagree. We can actually be hated for doing something which will accomplish much more good in the world. We can be hated for loving people.
Isn’t that a better reason to be hated? Yah, truth be told I don’t want to be hated either, yet I really don’t want to be hated for being a jerk. Most people who can’t stand Christians actually like Jesus.
I want to behave like Jesus so they like me like they like Jesus.
And if they hate me because I am acting like Jesus, I am not alone. I’ll be standing with my Lord as he is rejected by the world. My job is to love others. That’s the example of Jesus, to the point that he gave his life for us. I will choose to be like him and let the chips fall where they may…