It’s interesting to note how Jesus so often turned the world’s thinking on its head. One might think that if everyone liked them that means they’re good. Likewise, you might assume if people were constantly criticizing someone that person might be bad. Yet this is not always the case. In fact if you’re following Christ this most certainly won’t be the case.
Jesus said: “Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.” (Luke 6:22-23 ESV) Take note, that it’s not that people hate you for no reason. It’s that they hate you on “account of the Son of Man.” In other words they hate you because of your association with Christ; that you should rejoice.
Let’s face reality. In Jesus’ day, he was hated. In fact he was hated so much that he was murdered by those who hated him. He was a threat to their way of life; and he declared without exception that no one would enter Heaven apart from a relationship with Him. The world doesn’t want to hear that. But the world desperately needs to hear that. And if you tell them, you will be hated. Are you willing to be hated for the cause of Christ?
Maybe you would rather everyone speak well of you. If so, Jesus has words for you also. In the same book he says: “Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.” (Luke 9:25 ESV) Do you see the irony? The world speaks well of false prophets who tell them what they want to hear. And world despises true prophets who tell them what they need to hear. Which group would you rather fall into? You can be loved by the world and loathed by God. Or you can be loathed by the world and loved by God.
Like most complicated matters, its boils down to a very simple truth. You are either with Jesus, or you are with the world; because ultimately, you can’t have both. Let the words of Christ ring in your ears and consider carefully which side you will take: “For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits his soul?” (Luke 9:23)