“I hate you!” Have you ever heard this said? Perhaps in the school yard or on the sporting field. Perhaps you can remember saying this yourself in the midst of anger.
As adults we prefer words other than “hate.” John 15:17-19, “This is My command to you: love one another. If you find that the world despises you, remember that before it despised you, it first despised Me. If you were a product of the world order, then it would love you. But you are not a product of the world because I have taken you out of it, and it despises you for that very reason.” The Voice.
The Voice translation has the word, “despise”, but it is better translated “hate” from the original Greek and that is used in nearly every other translation. As a child I was disciplined by my parents and other adults to not use the word “hate”. It carries an extreme emotion that is final and deadly and after the events of the 2nd World War most people preferred to use other words. There is a verse in Luke 14:26, “If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison–your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters–yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple.” NLT.
Another tough verse is found in John 12:25, “Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” NIV.
If you feel that you just don’t seem to agree with the sentiments of the general public don’t be dismayed. It may be that you are not wrong but rather you have an influence from following Jesus and eternity with Him to come. These thoughts make up your opinions rather than any fleeting worldly pleasure. Note the following verse in 1 Peter 2:11, “Dear friends, I urge you as strangers and temporary residents to abstain from fleshly desires that war against you.” Is it any wonder that sometimes we feel like strangers? Sometimes we feel that we don’t fit into the world around us. Don’t be too upset about this, Jesus felt the same, but He left us with hope.
Focus on the things that are important. Note Colossians 3:1-2, “Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honour at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.”
Enjoy the precious memories of time with your family and friends and the many joys of life and adventure but never forget what God has in store for you, forever. Now that is something to “crow” about.