Often times I get frustrated, annoyed, even angry at the world for the attacks against Christianity. For the personal strikes at Christians who are just trying to live by their faith. I get so fed up with people calling Christians bigots, homophobes, etc, especially when most of the time it isn't true. Yes, there are those bad apples in the crowd but as a whole we just want to serve God and love people.
Pastor Mark Driscoll opened my eyes to 1st John chapter 3 and to something that made me laugh. I laughed because it is so simply and blatantly stated. It has entirely changed my view of how the world thinks of me as a Christian.
1 John 3:12-13 "We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother's righteous. Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you."
This is so very simple! I love Jesus, I follow Jesus, much of the world does not. In fact, a lot of the world hates Jesus! So... Why on earth am I surprised that the world hates Christians?
Throughout the Bible we see references to the World being one thing and God/Jesus being another. We cannot have idols, we cannot serve two masters, we must be in the world but not of the world, the list goes on. The world is a dark, lost, horrific place. The only way for hope and peace is through Jesus Christ. However, because as humans with our sin nature we are constantly in rebellion to God, the world seeks to tear Jesus down.
So let's put it this way, if the world seeks to get rid of Christ, and I seek to express Christ, speak about Him, glorify His name, what is the world going to think of me? Obviously they are going to try to get rid of me as well.
It comes down to this basic question, do you want the world to love you, or Jesus to love you? We cannot serve two masters. We cannot be loved by the world and by Jesus at the same time. Yes, there are those in the world who will love us, we all have people who love us, but as the whole we cannot have a world who wants the best for us because the world does not believe in the same ideals that we do.
That being said, we CAN love the world and love Jesus simultaneously. Do not love the world in the way you love Jesus, but we are called to love everyone. We are to bless those who curse us, love those who persecute us. We are to show kindness and love to our enemies. It is a tall order to fill because no one likes to be loving and kind to someone who doesn't like them. However it is not impossible to accomplish.
I say we at least try. This week if someone says an angry word to you, if someone "attacks" you whether for your faith or just because they can, love them in return. Bless them in return. If we all do this the world will be just that much better of a place to live in. Not to mention, it will give God all the glory, and that's our purpose.