Luke 6:22 (GW)
22 Blessed are you when people hate you, avoid you, insult you, and slander you because you are committed to the Son of Man.
Many years ago, my wife and I were members of a church in another state. We were trying to live out our lives of faith. We were trying to make a difference in the lives of others, both inside and outside the church.
The church had a very active young adult ministry. We were part of the leadership team in this ministry. One day I was speaking with a few of the young adults in the group when another young adult approached us. This person stepped between me and the two others I was talking to. He spoke directly to the two young adults, inviting them to a party at his house later in the week. He never looked at me or acknowledged me. After he left, one of the young adults commented on the fact that he acted as if I wasn’t even there. The reason was that he knew I would not participate in his parties because of the activities that would take place.
This is a small example of what Jesus was referring to in Luke 6:22. People will avoid you because you follow Jesus. Sometimes the avoiding is simply refusing to acknowledge your presence. Why the hostility? Because they feel that your following Jesus is a damper on their lifestyle. They don’t want to change, yet by seeing how you live for Jesus makes them feel guilty. So, they get angry. Really, they are angry with themselves for the choices they have made. But rather than admit that, they will vent their anger at you. Or they will try to ignore you so they don’t feel guilt over their actions.
What should you do? Stay committed to the Son of Man! Which would you rather have, the fickle approval of people who really don’t like you or the steadfast approval of the God who loves you enough to take your place on the cross? That doesn’t mean that we are to be hypercritical of others. It just means we should be more concerned about God’s approval than man’s. Even if all people desert you, speak ill of you, or ignore you, God won’t. God’s promise is that He will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).