There is an odd passage printed on the wall next to the main doors of the church where I serve. It reads, “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you” (John 15:19). That’s a weird thing to leave church with, isn’t it? “People will hate you!” Couldn’t we choose something more inspiring? Some Pinteresty quote like “Live, Laugh, Love”?
Actually, no, we can’t. Jesus spoke those words the night before he died so that you would be prepared for the days and nights of real life. So that when you attempt to be full of grace and truth (like Jesus—John 1:14), you are ready for the world to unfriend you. When the sting of rejection comes, Jesus doesn’t want you to backtrack and give up your beliefs just so you can belong to the world. Instead, he wants you to remember that you belong to God. God, in his love, has chosen you out of the world, made you one of his own, and blessed you with the spiritual humility to submit to his divine authority.
In a world that loves to call the shots and define truth for itself, a Jesus who insists on being Lord will not be loved. But don’t panic. Instead, praise the Savior who called you out of the world and chose you to be his own.