People will hate you if you love Jesus

Apr 12, 2012Archive

One of my personal heroes is battling critical condition as I type this. Chuck Colson. He wrote a note to me way before I was published. It’s the image for this post. He wrote, “Keep writing. God will honor your faithfulness.” I kept writing. God did honor that faithfulness. Years later Chuck Colson spoke on Breakpoint about one of my novels. 

This Easter weekend, Chuck Colson experienced bleeding on the brain and emergency surgery. You can read the story here.

If you have a strong stomach, scroll down and read the comments for the post. Wow. Here are a few:

  • From “Satan” Hey Chuck! Drop on by whenever you are ready. I’ve got the jaws of hell wide open for you.
  • From Howlyn: Chuck Colson: you are a corrupt piece of garbage.
  • From Camel: When he dies, I wonder if the very rich Colson will have to try to pass through the eye of a needle before the let him in heaven.
  • From Charles: What a crappy article about a rancid sack of garbage no one cares about. Too bad the surgery worked.
  • From J.W.: He has ugly lips.

It’s sickening, really. But not surprising.

Keep this in mind: “Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you”. (1 John 3:13, NIV)

Or this: “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.  If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.  Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.” (John 15:18-20, NIV).

The problem comes when we worry too much about people not liking us, so much so that we become vanilla, never offending anyone.

Peter was pretty darn clear that if we love Jesus, folks will HATE us. It’s an indication that the Spirit of glory rests upon us!

“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler.However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name” (1 Peter 4:12-16).

Timothy confirms this: “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12).

It’s an inevitability–this hatred, this persecution.

So the awful comments flung Chuck’s way while he languishes and fights his way back to health don’t surprise me. They indicate that God’s radical redemption has bothered the powers of darkness. Chuck’s heart for Jesus enrages the evil forces in this world.

Which makes me ask myself the question: where am I experiencing persecution? How have I angered the powers of darkness by my (God’s!) redemption? What about you?

Be encouraged, all those of you who have had folks hate you because of your proclamation of Jesus. Take note that HE SEES YOU. He knows. He applauds the Spirit of glory within you. He smiles upon you. Rest there.