As a Christian do you sometimes feel if too many people like you you’re probably doing something wrong with your life?
When I read passages like John 15:18-25 where Jesus talks about how the world hates the disciples and how, if they hated Him, they’ll hate us to I feel like more people shouldn’t like me. And that’s a hard and weird passage to get my head around sometimes because I really just want everyone to like me.
But when you look at other Scriptures you see something different. Like in Luke 15:1-2:
Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
Andy Stanley uses a phrase about these verses in Luke I really like: People who weren’t like Jesus liked Jesus.
When you compare and contrast Bible passages like these, one where people seem to love Jesus, and another where Jesus tells us to get ready to be hated, it’s easy to wonder what in the world is going on. In fact, it’s times like these when I get why some people think the Bible contradicts itself. At first glance it seems like it does.
What I think Jesus is saying, and I’m not sure if I’m getting this 100% right, but what I think He’s saying is IF there are people who hate you it should be because you are living a godly life. That you are living a life of love where some people don’t get it, are jealous of it, or wish they had it but aren’t willing to make the changes to get it.
And there are definitely some of us Christians out there who aren’t liked and even hated because of this. I’m OK with that. And I think Jesus is too.
I think where we run into problems is when people don’t like and even hate us because of other reasons completely. Like when we’re all truth and no grace. Or when we’re rude. Or when we mess up and don’t own it. Or when we pretend to be something we’re not. Or when we criticize everything everyone else is doing wrong, pretending we’ve got it all together. I think when we get hated for those kinds of reasons we’ve got it all wrong.
If people who aren’t like Jesus don’t like you, you might not be like Jesus as much as you think.
Do people who aren’t like Jesus like me? Not all of them will, but that’s OK. But do they not like me because I’m a jerk or because I follow Jesus?
I don’t think you have to be like the world for the world to like you. But you do have to like the people of the world, really care about and want their absolute best, for the people of the world to like you and maybe, just maybe, like your Savior too.
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As a Christian do you ever feel like more non-Christians shouldn’t like you? How do you balance the idea of the world will hate the disciples, but also people who weren’t like Jesus liked Jesus?