Dear World, Please Hate Me

Francis Chan, in his book ‘Crazy Love,’ speaking to Christians warns, “Something is wrong when our lives make sense to unbelievers.”

This week, our pastor asked that we consider John’s explanation of why Cain murdered his brother Abel. “…because his deeds were evil, and his brother’s were righteous.” 1 John 1:12

John then brings his point into perspective, “You’re not really surprised that the world hates you, are you?” (1 John 3:13) To this I ask, “Does the world hate me?”

Before Cain killed his brother, there was a series of emotional responses that took place in his heart. You remember… jealousy, then anger which turned to hatred.

Continuing, we’re reminded by John, “Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer.” (1 John 3:15)

I know the right response here! I don’t want to hate anyone. I want to love everyone! I must be careful, though… John isn’t finished. He gives his readers a test to see if they can describe themselves as a Cain or an Abel.

He defines this love we are to have by our recognition of Jesus’ love for us… “He laid down His life for us.” How do I know if my love for others reflects Jesus’ love for me? “I lay down my life for them.” (1 John 3:16)

But to do this, must all believers literally die… or must we all suffer immense persecution as John’s readers and many today do? Possibly, but not necessarily. Not according to John. He describes laying down one’s life with another option… one where we possibly demonstrate this love by living for others.

“But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?” (1 John 3:17)

There’s the answer! John describes true love as evidenced by deeds, not by words. When I truly love as Jesus loved, I respond to, and meet the needs of others… keeping their need for the Gospel ever visible. Failure to do so provides another kind of evidence… and unfortunately it can be associated with Cain much more than Abel.

Maybe I’ll take a moment and ask myself a question… written where you can hear it too. Does my life, professed to be in Christ, make sense to unbelievers? Do they see me as just another human trying to win the rat race of life by accumulating possessions and building nest eggs? Or…

Do they see a man whose primary focus in life is being a reflection of Jesus’ love. Do they see and experience the love that John spoke of and Paul described in the 12th chapter of his letter to the Romans?

John’s words are provocatively clear. When we don’t display this type of love to others, we express our hatred for them… we are murderers. Equally true, when we love others as ourselves, giving of our possessions, and declaring the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the world won’t understand and this will inevitably lead to their dislike… sometimes hatred and persecution of us.

Still, with encouragement Francis Chan says, “This is the abundant life. When we zealously do good works for others… they get help, we get joy, and God gets glory.” Titus 2:14

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About mtsweat

Seeking the rest that is only promised and found in Christ Jesus, along with my treasured wife of more than twenty-five years, we seek to grow in our relationship with our Heavenly Father, walk with the Holy Spirit as He moves our hearts, loving others always as Jesus loves us, and carry the news of His glory, the wonderful gospel, that gives light and life where there once was only darkness.
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12 Responses to Dear World, Please Hate Me

  1. granbee says:

    I must be a MOST successful Christian, a child of God walking in the Light–for the “world” around me often thinks I am goofy–loveable but goofy! Some do not think I am loveable when I join in petitions for justice and fairness and humane treatment of all God’s creatures–so be it! Bless for this WONDERFULLY encouraging post that starts my week off (catching up with you guys after meeting some dealines!) just exactly right. Bless you!

  2. A provocative post, to be sure. Esteeming others better than ourselves means dying to self, certainly something impossible to do apart from God’s gracious enabling.

    I will be thinking about this. Thank you for posting it.

    Loved the Francis Chan quote at the end.

  3. jeremynoel says:

    Great post. Reminds me that love is more than my words!

  4. cc says:

    This is a word that cuts deep…to the dividing of soul and spirit. Oh…the pain. To wish that someone difficult was not in my life…is to want them gone…is to be a murderer of the mind. Oh…the pain. Oh…the Cain. To die for that person may be hard. But to live for them, it is harder still. It is so daily…to be poured out…to be broken…to live for someone else. Not to livelove them when they love me back. Not to livelove them for myself in any way. Not to livelove them so that I can hear “well done my good and faithful sevant”. Just to livelove them because…I no longer live…but Jesus Christ now lives in me…broken bread and poured out wine.

    • mtsweat says:

      Wow, Mrs. C! Your message is much more impacting than my post. How awesome! “I no longer live… but Jesus Christ now lives in me… broken bread and poured out wine.” That is truly inspiring. May we quit trying, and start surrendering to the life-transforming work of the Holy Spirit. Thanks!

  5. JR says:

    Great post brother! Sharing….

    • mtsweat says:

      Thanks JR for all the encouragement and repost. This may be the most difficult post I’ve ever written… because I fail so miserably at obeying these words. I wrote most of it in the first person, because it is to me. God bless, good friend.

  6. The writer of Hebrews explains how the sacrificial animals in the Old Testament were burned outside of the camp. Then he explains that Christ was also crucified outside the gate. After that, he admonishes believers: “Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach.” (13:13) I t is clear that a believer must join Christ through rejection and separation from the crowd. It is unnatural for a human to do this, and most unpleasant in many ways. But the rewards will be great.

    Thank you for this message, and for building up my faith.

    • mtsweat says:

      An excellent comment and passage, friend. Thanks greatly for sharing this. Jesus purchased us to create a people passionate for good works… for His (and our) Father’s glory (Titus 2:14). God bless.

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