Everybody likes you? That’s too bad.

The only thing most people remember about the short-lived XFL football league was Rod Smart, a running back for the Las Vegas Outlaws. Rather, they remember his nickname “He Hate Me” which was emblazoned on the back of his jersey.

If I played for the XFL, my jersey would say “Ain’t Nobody Hate Me.” Which is probably too long a name considering my shoulders are about as broad as my 13-year-old daughter’s. But the bigger problem is when my self-proclaimed popularity gets tackled by the Word of God:

“Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you,
for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.”

(Luke 6:26 NIV)

As Justin Taylor said in a recent blog post, one of Jesus’ clearest (and least popular) promises is that his people would be hated. Let that sink in for a second. He didn’t just say that believers would have fewer Facebook friends. He said hate … as in abhor, despise and loathe.

“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If 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.
(John 15:18-19 ESV)

Jesus knows what is is to be hated. But I don’t. Maybe I’m “of the world” more than I’d like to admit. Maybe I’m not representing the Savior accurately enough to incite the disdain of a culture at war with the Prince of Peace.

What about you? Have you been confronted by the hatred of the world because of your love for Jesus? Tell me about it.


4 Responses to Everybody likes you? That’s too bad.

  1. Hey Dave,

    Great post. There have been a few times over the years when despite my lovable personality, people have actually hated me. And that after I’ve tried to help them (that’s how effective I am). And when people have not liked me, I’ve been surprised and baffled – Hey, this is ME they’re talking about. Lovable ME! But ultimately , it was because of the gospel.

    Thanks Dave!

  2. Stan says:

    Every time I step out to love people the way God does. I get dumped on from a great height. I’ve come to expect that my care will result in trouble. My wife and I will be misjudged; my motives will be misinterpreted. I have learned that I will seldom see the fruit of our labour. Often we plant the seed and then the Devil tries to rip it out of the ground before it can flourish and grow roots. just a couple of months ago a young man who came to live with us when he was in dire circumstances, suddenly found himself enticed back into the drug and alcohol fuelled lifestyle he had been delivered from 12 months previously. He has drifted far away both physically and spiritually, but I know God holds him in the palm of His hand. We know from experience that when God begins a work in someone’s life He sees that work through to completion. The Devil loves to discourage those who sincerely seek to live open lives caring for others like Jesus. We have seen it time and time again over the last 25 years; times of trouble come when God is honoured. We are not dismayed. We refuse to stop loving even in the darkest times of attack. God is our refuge and strength. He has surrounded us with loving friends who support us through the strife. They lift us up physically as well as spiritually. They are Jesus with skin on to us so that we can be Jesus with skin on to others. God is good. Even when we are unpopular, even when we are maligned and out of favour with man we experience the favour and blessings of God.

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