John 15:18 (NIV) If the world hates you, remember they hated me first.
So at first sight the church finds pride in this statement. I have heard many Christian ministers say, “The world hates us because we are followers of Christ.” And Jesus did say it, but do they hate us like they hated Christ.
We need to first understand why they hated Christ.
19If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
They hated Jesus because he was not like the world. He was a shining light in the midst of darkness. If we were like him then they would hate us for that reason. They would see the truth of the gospel and the spirit would convict them. Their hatred would stem from the conviction that was why they hated Christ. I don’t believe that is why they hate us.
They hate us not because we are like Christ, but because we are like the world. They hate that we indulge in the same sins, but then turn and pretend that we have it all together. They hate that we stand for something in the daylight, but when the lights are out we scurry around like cockroaches covered in stench and filth.
The world hates that we speak out of both sides of our mouths. We are double minded. We say we believe in God, but still seek after the things of the world. We truly have nothing to stand for, but we pretend to stand for everything.
In James 1:6-8 NLT is says:
6But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. 7Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.
They hate us because we are fake. Jesus was genuine in everything he did. We too need to be genuine. Does that mean to be perfect? No. It simply means real. The Christians that reach the world are those who fail at life. The stumble and they fall, but they are honest about it. They do not attempt to hide it in the shadows and sugar coat the consequences.
The world needs to see that we are human. We are in the world, but because of the amazing Grace of Christ we are not of the world.
Stop glorying in the hate the world has against you. Instead start being the shining love that Christ created you to be.