Dear brothers and sisters,
How come is it that people will dislike you without ever meeting you or knowing who you are? What do we do when this happens?
As followers of Christ, we are called to love our neighbors as ourselves, but what happens when our neighbors don’t love us back? What do we do when people dislike us without ever meeting us or knowing us? The truth is that this is not a new problem. It has been happening for centuries, and the Bible has a lot to say about it.
In the Old Testament, we can see examples of people who were hated without reason. Consider the Psalmist David Lament, writing, singing,
“Do not let those gloat over me who are my enemies without cause; do not let those who hate me without reason maliciously wink the eye.” (Psalm 35:19)
David knew what it was like to be the subject of unjust hatred and persecution, yet he continued to trust in the Lord and seek His help.
Likewise, in the book of Job, we see a man who was blameless and upright, yet he suffered greatly at the hands of his enemies. His friends turned against him and accused him of wrongdoing, even though he had done nothing to deserve their scorn.
Going back to the New Testament, we see Jesus Himself as the ultimate example of someone who was hated without reason. In Joh’s Gospel, we can see Jesus telling His disciples,
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 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 15:18-19)
Jesus knew that His followers would face persecution and hatred simply because they belonged to Him. But He also promised them that they would be blessed for their faithfulness. Matthew records Jesus saying,
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:11-12)
So, what should we do when we face unjust hatred and persecution? First and foremost, we should turn to the Lord for strength and guidance. We should trust in His promises and seek His help in all things. As David wrote in ,
“The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)
Additionally, we should remember that we are called to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44). Moreso, we should not repay evil with evil, but instead, we should overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21).
In conclusion, brothers and sisters, we may face unjust hatred and persecution in this world, but we can take comfort in the fact that we are not alone. We have the Lord on our side, and He promises to bless us for our faithfulness. Let us continue to trust in Him and love our enemies, even when they hate us without reason.
Grace & Peace
Dr.John Roberts, THD