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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

It's not you, it's them

"The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil. John 7:7 (New American Standard Bible)

Ever have someone get upset with you when you shared Jesus with them? I once had a woman tell me, “I would rather go to hell than have someone tell me I needed to turn to Jesus Christ as my savior!” What would create such ire in a person to say such a thing? I often marvel at how Jesus Christ, who did great good, is one of the most reviled men in history. Even 2000 years after He walked the earth His name can still provoke great agitation and loathing from the greater part of the human population. Talking about God is really too generic to pose any threat. After all, one can make any abstract idea into a concept of God. But why does the name of Jesus bring such antipathy? It’s because He calls us to accountability for our actions shining light upon the inmost portions of our thoughts and motives. One of the quickest defensive postures a person will make is when their belief system or lifestyle is challenged. Jesus goes further to say He is hated because He reveals and testifies of the evil deeds people practice. People can speak of God in a detached way but they can’t do that with Jesus. He was too specific in what He requires of us and that drives some people crazy. No one can tell me how I should live my life!

If you’ve ever limped away from that kind of angry attack concerning the Son of Man then I have a couple of good things to encourage you with. The first is you’re in good company; for even the prophets of old were treated this way when they met the scoffers of their time. Secondly, what you say is not of yourself. As you graciously share Christ it isn’t up to you to persuade anyone to come to Him. That job is the Holy Spirit’s. When people reject your testimony of Jesus they aren’t rejecting you but the One who sent you. Whether they have an awakening to Christ at that time is no one’s business but God’s. The Lord is a marvelous closer knowing exactly what to bring to any person so that they may immediately or perhaps at some future time come to a relationship with His Son. What God expects of us is to be obedient to that task. That takes a whole lot of pressure off if you ask me. In sharing with others do your best and God will handle the rest. When you are reviled for your testimony in Christ it isn’t you, it’s them.