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Acceptance In Rejection

Acceptance In Rejection

If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. John 15:18-19

One of the most important personal desires I have is to be liked by other people. It terrifies me to think about people being upset with me or angry with me--not just for a moment, but for extended periods of time. I have an instinctive need for resolution, sometimes at almost any cost. If I know there is conflict, I get a knot in my stomach that won't go away without some sort of healing, either through conflict resolution or at least a mental block that removes the knot until I think of the problem again.
Most of the time, conflict resolution is healthy. But the words of Jesus in John 15 suggest there are times when the conflict should not and cannot be resolved for the faithful disciple. As the world hated Jesus, so his disciples should anticipate being hated and despised. In such instances, it is no blessing to resolve the conflict through compromise of values or duplicity in one's convictions.
The goal of always being liked by others is not particularly Christian. The goal of being like the son of God means there will be times when we do not fit in, we are not crowd pleasers, we are not received among our own just as Jesus was not received. May God grant us the wisdom and the courage to know when being hated by the world is more important than being accepted and fitting in among our peers. The price of ultimate acceptance by Creator God may at times mean that we live with rejection and even hatred among our peers in the world.
John O. York

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