The Doorpost: Attacked because of truth, love? Don't be surprised

Ray King  ·  Oct 19, 2018

Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you.

1 John 3:13

The verse above is in the middle of a passage about love. Jesus said something similar in John 15:18-25, which is in the middle of another passage where He teaches us to love. Are we surprised when truthful, loving words and actions are met with lies and hate? We shouldn’t be.

The enemies of God have always hated Him and those who follow Him, starting in the beginning when Cain murdered Abel. Why? When the religious leaders in Jesus’ day attacked Him, He told them it was because they were following their father, the devil, who has been a murderer and liar from the beginning (John 8:44). Falsehood and selfish, hostile attacks are evidence of the devil’s involvement, and we should recognize them as such (James 3:13-18).  

Followers of Jesus Christ are in a cosmic battle of good vs. evil, and of truth vs. falsehood. Jesus tells us that we are blessed when we face persecution because we are following Him (Matthew 5:11-12, Luke 6:22-23). In fact, He says that we should be concerned when all people speak well of us (Luke 6:26).

We should not be surprised when truth and love are attacked with hatred and falsehood, whether it is aimed at us or at others. We should recognize where it is coming from and joyfully depend on Jesus to enable us to boldly, lovingly stand firm (Acts 4:29). When we obey Him and suffer for it, we can rejoice and be glad, because our reward will be great in heaven.