by Pastor Greg Laurie
“ ‘If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. . . .’ ” (John 15:20)
It is hard for a lot of Christians to understand how suddenly their friends and family can turn against them. People they have been close to for years suddenly become hostile, simply because they have said they were now following Jesus Christ.
I am amazed at how parents have turned against children. I've heard teens and young adults tell me how they were strung out on drugs or living sexually permissive lives or getting in trouble with the law all the time. Then they found Christ and their lives changed. They began living moral lives. Their parents were angry with them for coming to faith when, in fact, they should have been elated by the change.
Sometimes even parents won't understand what the Lord is doing in your life. Sometimes your children won't understand. Sometimes your husband or wife won’t understand. Sometimes your friends and coworkers won’t understand.
Remember when Saul, later to become the apostle Paul, was striking out against Christians? One day on the Damascus Road, he met none other than Jesus Christ himself who said, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” (Acts 9:4). Saul thought his fight was with the Christians. But it wasn't. It was with Christ himself.
People take their hostilities out on you because you are God's representative. I have spoken with people who discover I’m a pastor and suddenly begin dumping everything they have against God on me. I have come to realize this happens because I am a representative of God, just as all believers are. It is a great honor to be His representative. But with that honor comes responsibility. Be careful. Don’t keep someone away from Christ by misrepresenting Him.
Copyright © 2003 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.