In today’s Bible reading, John offers the comforting words that haters are going to hate Believers. Gee, thanks John! You sound just like Job’s encouraging friends!
But hould we really expect anything else from lost people? Lost people are going to act like lost people! Besides, if they hated Jesus, why would they feel different about His followers? (Matthew 10:22–25) They won’t.
If haters are going to hate, why should Believers even deal with the fear of man? If they’re going to hate you, why try to please them? Why try to curry their favor?
Now, I’m not saying that we should return hate for hate. Quite the opposite. The New Testament consistently teaches that Believers are to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute you. (Matthew 5:44)
Peter tells the persecuted church not to pay back evil for evil or insult for insult but, on the contrary, giving a blessing, since you were called for this, so that you may inherit a blessing. (1 Peter 3:9)
And Paul reminds the Romans, “If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Romans 12:18 CSB)
There’s nothing you can do to stop them from hating you and your Lord. But do everything you can to live in peace with everyone and pray for your haters. Because haters are going to hate.
This devotional was originally published on October 1, 2019.