“Are you okay with people hating you for following me?”
That’s what God has been asking of me. And my honest answer is, “NO I AM NOT.” But He reminds me that people hated His perfect, loving Son simply because they could not understand Him.
Following Jesus is dangerous. Pursuing what He has called you to is risky business. But it’s worth it.
I think we get confused as Christians and assume we are here to make everyone like us, make everyone happy, please everyone, and avoid ever rocking the boat or making anyone uncomfortable. But that’s not what God has asked of us. He has asked us to love people, yes, but sometimes loving people means calling them higher.
And sometimes the people watching you chase God just do not understand what you’re doing. But you can’t keep turning around trying to explain to them where you’re going or you will certainly trip and fall. Just keep running. Let them see you running your race and encouraging them to run theirs despite their comments and critiques. We can’t just talk the talk — we have to run the run.
So, as I cried to my husband telling him I wanted to quit doing this thing — whatever this crazy thing is God is asking of me, he said, “Yeah give it a try and see how miserable you are not living out the call of God.” He is the one who reminded me that people murdered our Jesus for the way He loved God and others. So I think I can take a few weird looks and not-so-nice comments here and there.
And I think you can too.
So, let’s keep doing our thing for the sake and glory of Jesus, alright? If you’re in, I’m in. Because it’s way more fun to do this together. It’s way better to run with your friends than all by yourself.
Please remember that if people try to crucify you for your calling, your Father felt that same sadness in human form so He could comfort you. Go to Him. Tell Him everything. He will pick you up and give you the fresh air you need to keep going strong.
After all, wouldn’t we be really bored if we played it safe and quit the call?
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1 (NIV)
Imagine that great cloud of witnesses Hebrews mentions cheering you on and encouraging you to keep going. My church, Church of the Highlands, does a series every year called “Running With the Giants” where they pull out heroes from The Bible and imagine what they might say to us if they jumped on the track and ran a lap with us.
I think every single one of them would let us in on a little secret that kept them going: Shaking off the fear of man and striding for the approval of God. Notice I said “striding,” not “striving.” We don’t have to work for God’s love, we just have to keep running the race and taking strides with Him.
When we are free of others’ opinions and free of our own selfish ambitions, we are weightless enough to glide for His glory.
Surround yourself with people who challenge you to be better, yes, but don’t spend all your time with people who question your every move and make you question who you are.
You are fully capable of hearing from God — tap into that and listen for your next move. As long as you and God understand the plan, everything else will fall right into place.
Jesus was crucified for the plan God had for Him.
Remember the cross, friends. Remember it every day.