I remember one time working for a church here in Japan, and the pastor’s daughter was working at a Christian pre-school. But one day, she complained that one of her students stabbed her hand with a pair of scissors (fortunately, it was a blunt one, but still). Later on, she told me, “We need an English teacher at our school. Don’t you want to come?”
Needless to say, I declined. Getting stabbed in the hand is one occupational hazard I could do without. 🙂
As Christians, however, we do face an “occupational hazard” that we cannot avoid. If we are going to testify for Christ, there will be people that will get angry with us. There will even be people that will hate us for it. Jesus said,
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. Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me. (18-21)
Jesus was perfect love. He lived a perfect life. And still people hated him. Can we expect to escape the same fate as Jesus? This is not to say that all will hate us. Some will love us for telling them the truth about Jesus. But to expect no conflict at all is unrealistic unless you compromise the message.
And unfortunately, far too many Christians do. Why? Because they don’t want to be hated. They don’t want the conflict.
I’m not saying that we should go out of our way to generate conflict and hatred. We going to generate enough as it is just by representing Jesus.
But neither should we be afraid of conflict by telling people the truth. Not just part of the truth, but the “whole counsel of God.” (Acts 20:27)
Jesus never shrank back from it. Why should we?