Okay, so I’m a people-pleaser.
I always want people to like me. I desire to have people see me as kind and fun.
While I have many friends who love me and support my beliefs, I’ve crossed paths with a few girls who found me considerably annoying because I didn’t join them in doing certain things.
To be completely honest, that bugged me for quite some time. I didn’t want these girls to look down on me because I didn’t do the things that they did. But at the same time, I didn’t want to compromise my beliefs. I knew that what I was doing was right, however I still desired to be viewed as funny and likeable. I hated being seen as weird and annoying JUST because of what I believed in.
I struggled to find a solution to this. I did my best to get these girls to like me, but it seemed impossible to do so without compromising.
Right in the midst of struggling with this, my pastor taught on Acts 4:1-4. The Apostles were extremely bold and confident, and they were living out their lives as Christ followers. They were annoying to many people and priests because of their raw teaching. There were quite a few people that couldn’t stand them; however, the Apostles treated them with love anyway.
It’s an incredibly similar circumstance with Christians sharing the Gospel today. People don’t want to hear the truth, and they will become annoyed when you try to share it with them (even if you present the truth lovingly).
Enduring hatred from others for what we believe is hard. People will get angry at you for it. I have family members that stop me before I even start telling them something Biblical, because they know that it’s coming and they don’t want to hear it.
I want to encourage you to remain strong through persecution. We all tend to give up really easily. We take the rejection and assume that it’s a sign we should give up. What we need to understand is that we will face opposition for the rest of our lives. We will be hated because of Who we represent.
The struggle is very difficult, and persevering through the persecution will not be easy whatsoever. What we need to do is remember that we’re representing the Creator of the world. His Word tells us to do exactly what we’re doing.
We need to remember that the Holy Spirit dwells in us and equips us to reach out to people. It gives us a desire to love others and share with them the fantastic news that Jesus died for our sins. It’s because of the Holy Spirit that we feel led to teach the Gospel to the world around us.
People are not always going to like you. What matters is how you handle that opposition. Are you going to use that as an excuse to treat them poorly, or are you going to treat them with love and kindness? Are you going to let that hold you back from reaching out to others, or are you going to push through it and cling to your faith?
How you handle the situation is up to you. I pray that persecution doesn’t sway you, but that you treat it with love and continue to do what you know God has called you to.