“If the world hates you, be aware that it hated Me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love you as its own. Because you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world – therefore the world hates you” (John 15:18-19)
Selfishness is simply normal human behavior. It’s in our nature. Notice a child who has access to a toy but clearly has no interest in playing with it. As soon as another child makes a move toward it – the game changes.
“That’s mine!” The child shouts, and then makes an effort to prevent the other kid from even touching it.
And yet that child has absolutely no desire for the toy. It’s the mentality, “I don’t want it, but I don’t want anyone else to have it, either.”
That is the way many people are with Jesus Christ.
They have chosen to reject Him. No problem – that’s their prerogative. They don’t want what He has to offer. But it is interesting how some people take it much further, as if they don’t want anyone else to have it, either.
It almost seems that the more exceptional a life the believer lives, the more vicious, jealous, and hostile the nonbeliever becomes.
The love, joy, and peace radiating off of a true and faithful follower of Christ is something to behold. There is acceptance of people for who they are; compassion for the lost; unequivocal trust in God.
And these truths seems only to bolster the hatred of the world.
Unmerited accusations and uncalled-for comments are often casually tossed around; character can be called into question; and the attack is never complete without at least one mention of the word “hypocrite.”
When under fire from this type of tirade, always keep one thing in mind:
It’s not personal.
It is not you they are rejecting; it is Jesus.
He warned us about this so it wouldn’t come as a surprise.
Instead of becoming angry when experiencing this kind of hatred, ask God for grace and patience. Ask Him to help you respond with the same love Jesus showed His enemies.
Remember: You are only responsible for yourself – how someone else behaves is their business.
Act; don’t react.