Imagine, it is like a million years ago. And you are one of the first disciples of Christ.
(Which is similar to being the very first Green Day fan.)
Anyway, you are sort of a grunge/hipster/homeless member of the counter culture who has left their family and all their possessions to follow the Son of God; who has been roaming about raising people from the dead and walking on water and making water into wine (brilliant and handy) and doing all sorts of things.
It is way cool.
Then he lays it on you, from John 15: 18
"18 If the world hates you, be aware that it hated me before it hated you. 19 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."
Super, right? Everyone is DYING to be hated.
And then, of course, Jesus lays this one on you, from John 15:27:
Right? Like, for real? Everyone hates Christ and because of this, hates you, but you are supposed to continue to testify on behalf of the object of everyone's hatred.
Sure thing. Let's get right on that.
This notion of testifying is all very evangelistic; and I have to say, growing up as a Northeastern Presbyterian, there was no obvious testifying going on nor was there any encouragement to testify. There were mentions here or there about sharing our faith. But, I was a kid and a teenager, God simply wasn't cool.
And we all know that God, in so many places still isn't cool. God and Christ can be the ticket to mockery (See my old post Jesus Freak) and down right hatred. Heck, my children don't even think they are allowed to pray in school (that's a whole other post. but in the United States, you can pray where ever you want. The school just cannot institutionalize prayer.) There are days I worry that my kid might not seem cool because they want to say blessing in the cafeteria.
I fear they will be hated because of Jesus.
However, this is all very stupid of me--and sinful. Christ is pretty clear. Yeah, they might hate you. But it is because you don't belong to them; you belong to me. Remember who you love, remember who loves you and that is where you belong.
When you speak your truth and your faith, there are always haters. The biggest hater is your inner voice. That little voice that tells you someone might not like you if you announce that Jesus is your Savior.
This week will be a week of truth. You might say, hey, this chick has a very Jesusy blog and clearly she is always speaking her truth. But, the truth is, I am not. I hesitate to say grace when others are watching because I don't want to seem strange. I fear that my children might not have friends if they proclaim Christ on the playground. I worry that I'll never get an advertiser on Yoke because Jesus is tattooed on every page.
I fail to testify when I have testimony to share.
Week 7 will be the week that I remember only one thing is needed and that is to speak the truth.
Haters be damned*.
Dear God, This week help me to be truthful and to share my beliefs with conviction, no matter the consequences. Amen.
Wonder what you've stumbled upon? Catch up on Only One Thing, the Bible Study for Bad Christians here.
*Figuratively. Not actually. Because I know I am not God, etc.