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“If the world hates you, be aware that it hated me before it hated you. If you belonged to the world, the world would love you as its own. Because you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world — therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘Servants are not greater than their master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also. But they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father also. If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not have sin. But now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. It was to fulfill the word that is written in their law, ‘They hated me without a cause.’”
Not for Wimps
But of course, that’s not how Jesus described the faith to his disciples. In fact, he prepared them to be hated on account of him. You see, for Christ, following isn’t about what a person promises to God; it’s about the life he or she chooses to live. And this life isn’t going to be easy nor is it the way to win friends and influence people. Rather, it results in others feeling resentment and frustration and hatred toward the Christian life-style, because it runs against the crowd-pleasing values of culture. And it’s interesting; if one’s Christian walk doesn’t lead to the same rejection and animosity that our Lord faced, maybe it’s not the Lord who’s being followed. In other words, living according to the world is the path to comfort and ease, because being a Christian just isn’t for wimps.