Why Would Anyone Hate Me?

Not too long ago, Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty was speaking out against homosexuality and was criticized by the mainstream liberals. During the same time, several businesses like Chick-Fil-A and Hobby Lobby held firm to their view of marriage as a man and a woman, and they received negative comments as well for their longstanding decision. Long before this, John the Baptist was put to death by King Herod for opposing his adulterous marriage (Matthew 14).

The hostility toward truth and those who hold it as the foundation of life have always been on the receiving end of mockery, criticism, and disdain. People wanting to do right are being persecuted because of it. It does not make sense. Why same people who are attempting to live holy, righteous, and honest lives?

Jesus spoke to the hearts of those who choose to follow Him in preparation for opposition. “If the world hateth you, ye know that it hath hated Me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love its own: but because ye are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, A servant is not greater than his lord. If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also” (John 15:18-21). 

The world will always oppose, hate, or mock godliness and truth. How each Christian responds to being hated or disliked by their families or associates or by those in society is most important.

Place 1 Peter 2:11-12 in your memory bank. We are pilgrims and sojourners in this world. Realize in your pilgrimage your place is to be a witness in WORD and in DEED. Equally criticizing those who oppose you does not help. Being as vile as they are will not convert them. Fight back or fight fire with fire will only increase the hostility which already exists. Resolve instead to show love, speak truth, humbly obey, and live righteously.

Pray for love toward your enemies (Matthew 6:44-48). Pray to be an example for them. Ask God to give you the words to lead them to God.

Stand firmly upon the truth and pattern of things God set in order (1 Timothy 4:16). Take heed to the truth you already believe and continue in it. While there are so many temptations for you to compromise or relax Biblical standards, remain steadfast (1 Corinthians 15:58). Unless we conform to “the faith” already established in scripture, the world will never know what the pattern is.

It may be unusual, but it is not sinful to be different. Remain to be different. This is who Christians are to be. “That ye no longer should live the rest of your time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God...wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them into the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you” (1 Peter 4:2,4). People who genuinely love the Lord are rare. That rarity is what can make the difference in so many places in the world. Your family’s conviction to truth makes a difference at school, in the neighborhood, at the grocery store, at the ball field, and with extended family. If others cannot see a difference or hear a difference, something is wrong.

Remember the strength of God. His way will not be defeated. It will not be mocked. Sin has its consequences (Galatians 6:7-8). Hold fast to what is good. Do not turn good into evil or evil into good. Let the power of the gospel continue to save others (Romans 1:16) and be your strength for all time (Ephesians 6:10-18).

What would be good for Christians to read and study today, who are opposed for righteousness’ sake, is Acts 5. The apostles were put in prison, released by an angel, went about speaking in the temple, they were captured and taken back before the council and charged not to teach in the name of Jesus. Those who put the apostles in prison believed the apostles were bringing the blood of Jesus upon their heads. In reality, it was to bring them to repentance. In view of the criticism they received, Peter and the apostles said, “We must obey God rather than man” (v. 29). At the counsel of a smart doctor of the law, honorable Gamaliel, the apostles were released, “departing from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the Name. And every day, int he temple and at home, they ceased not to teach and to preach Jesus as the Christ” (Acts 5:42).

With the freedom we have in this country, our voice needs to be used. Be ready to answer. Know in whom you believe (2 Timothy 1:12). Lean on the mighty arm of God for strength in morally troubling times. Commit your life to a faithful God (1 Peter 4:19). Rely upon the word. Seek God’s approval always. As one man said, “If you’re sure of God’s approval, you need not fear the word’s disapproval.” “Be not overcome of evil...overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).