June 3 – Staying Out of Trouble

Friday, June 3, 2011

June 3 – Staying Out of Trouble

“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 what I told you: ‘A servant is not 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. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’ (John 15:18-25)

One of those things I had to learn early on in my life was that there would be certain people who didn’t like me simply because of who my father was.  As the Methodist pastor in small towns, he was there to challenge people’s beliefs about the world and that often reflected on his family.

As I grew older, I discovered that by living my life as a Christian, there would be people who didn’t like me.  My parents didn’t mind the fact that I wasn’t invited to the keggars or wild parties or that boys were too frightened of Dad to get pushy with me.  Many years later, a guy I dated for a short time during high school told me that he never kissed me because he was afraid I’d tell Dad.  Then, others started telling me about parties I didn’t get asked to attend because they were certain I would tell Dad.  I really don’t know what the kids thought was happening in our home.  I did NOT tell my parents everything that I did and the last thing I would talk to Dad about was a boy kissing me, but because of who I was, there was a certain amount of distance between me and the kids around me.

I guess I made it through high school fairly unscathed because of that.  Maybe that’s what Jesus wants us to realize in this passage as well.  It isn’t necessarily the worst thing for the world to hate you or ignore you or leave you out of things because you love Jesus.  It might surprise you to realize that when you don’t get invited to do things because of your relationship with Jesus, it keeps you out of a lot of trouble!