A Better Way

There is a big theory going around today that says “if you are being hated by people, then you are doing the right thing.” I sincerely struggle with this idea. I am a people pleaser by nature so when people don’t like what I do, I internalize the jabs. (BTW, this is not healthy) So when people tell me that if I am doing something for God and people take jabs at me, then I should embrace it, that gives me the willies! Not sure where this stance of appreciating the hate ever came from. Not sure I ever saw Jesus buck against the haters and seem prideful in His direction. He always seemed to address the hate directly and move with compassion towards love. He never hid behind a prayer shawl, his friends, a book, video, blog, or community. He engaged a group of people who opposed him and never did it arrogantly or hurtfully.

With that being said, I saw this video and it makes me uncomfortable and sad. Not only for what it says but more importantly for how it is said. I really hope we can do a better job of showing the world that our faith communities (churches) may be different but we need to be on a front of unity with love.

 In my world, I live by a saying, “Don’t come to me with problems, come to me with solutions”.

So here is the solution:

  • Pray for those who criticize you—this will soften your heart toward them.
  • Know that your fiercest critic—if he is a Christian—will one day be closer to you than your closest friend is now.
  • Have pity on your critics who appear to be yet unbelievers, for they need God’s converting grace above all else.

Those solutions come from John Newton, as expressed on the blog of CJ Mahaney. Click here to read the blog post titled, “Deal Gently With Your Critics”. This is a great read and is easily applicable.

And lastly, if you are someone who has spoken out harshly against your critics, I am not HATING on you. I want to encourage you, I want to urge you, and I want to push you towards a possibly better way of thinking. Your way isn’t wrong, it’s just that this one may be better.


4 thoughts on “A Better Way

  1. Yes, I thought the video was purposely ironic, demonstrating a man demonstrating having the same attitude he was criticizing.

    Our biggest problem is that we have two criteria for the legitimization of belief:
    (1) Accuracy
    (2) Comfort/Joy

    Because of (2), a person expressing a different opinion can cause discomfort, and therefore can be seen as attacking, and therefore can cause anger in those who disagree. And unfortunately we have always tended to ignore, ban, attack, and even kill those with a different opinion. We divide up into groups based upon what we believe, so that we won’t be isolated, and those groups tend to avoid and attack each other.

    We need to get to the point where we welcome hearing opinions different than our own, with the need always to work on improving one’s own belief system. Friendly debate may be our highest and most important capability.

    1. Bill,
      I love your outstanding viewpoint here. How great would it be to just be able to look at wat someone says, disagree, and then learn from what you thought were differences. I love the comment…”with the need always to work on improving ones own belief system”…that’s radical thinking and I like it!

  2. Sadly, this feeling of “haters in the church” is why so many of us choose to spend our Sunday mornings (or other times that we would be in church) elsewhere. Who wants to purposely engage in such conflict? Most of us have some measure of conflict at work and we don’t have a choice!

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