Monday, June 9, 2008

Why are You Hated?

“…you will be hated by all nations because of me.” Matthew 24:9 NIV

“I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.” John 17:14 NIV
What stirs up this hatred Jesus said the world would have towards his followers? Oswald Chambers writes, “I have no business to stir up the hatred of the world through a domineering religious opinionativeness—that has nothing whatever to do with the spirit of Jesus.”* This is something I have been believing more and more but sadly, it is our “domineering religious opinionativeness” that is seen and hated most by those who do not follow Jesus.

Think about it! How much time do we expend trying to persuade non-Christians that homosexuality is wrong and that our laws must reflect that? In North America today, Christians are known far more for our religious opinionativeness than for anything else. How sad! This is not the gospel. This isn’t the good news that Jesus brought to earth. The good news is that God loves us! He loves the homosexual. He loves the abortionist. He loves the world. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son….”

Then why might the world hate us, if not for our religious opinionativeness? Why are Christians hated in other parts of the world? Why are Christians imprisoned, tortured and killed in places like China and the Islamic nations? Is it because they are crying out against their fellow countrymen for breaking God’s laws? No! It is because they simply choose to believe in and follow Jesus and encourage others to do the same—not in loud, attention-getting pronouncements but in the quiet, living out of their lives as Jesus called us to do.

Chambers writes, “…when in all modesty I am standing for the honour of Jesus Christ and a crisis arises when the Spirit of God requires that I declare my otherworldliness, then I learn what Jesus meant when he said, men will hate you.”*

Father, I want to live my life for you, to bring honour to you and your son, Jesus, through your Holy Spirit. May my life reflect your love and holiness rather than my own, self-righteous declarations of others’ sin. Amen.

"The Moral Individual--II" in "Biblical Ethics" in The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers, page 100.

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