Leadership in Context with Keith Tucci
Not Everyone Has to Like You, pt1
Question: Should everyone like you?
Many believers think that if they are really pleasing God, then everyone around them should be pleased with them. I’m not asking does everyone like you, but shouldeveryone like you?
Matthew 5:10 Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
The Bible always ties persecution and righteousness together. We aren’t being persecuted for our own things, but for living righteously. (Not living perfectly, but living and declaring righteousness.)
This next verse expands this…
Matthew 5:11 Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.
This happens because of “Me.” Not because of just anything, but because you love, honor, and obey Christ. Because you love what He loves and hates what He hates. You accept what He accepts and reject what He rejects.
This is when someone personally hurts you because of your faith. People will say or do something to try to inflict pain in your life simply because you represent Jesus.
This is actively resisting you. When you are being actively resisted in the gospel, when people are trying to stop you from doing things, and they are against the cause of Christ, that is persecution.
Falsely Say All Kinds of Evil Against You
This is gossip which is designed to influence people against you.
Persecution comes against us in three ways:
1. Personal hurts and attacks,
2. resistance of our mission/calling/purpose,
3. trying to stop our influence.
I believe a lot of believers think that if they are really doing what is good, then they would not have resistance.
In 2 Timothy, we read of Paul sharing with Timothy a list of the persecution that has been done against him. He then pauses and says…all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.(2 Timothy 3:12) He is not talking about being an apostolic voice or a church planter. He is saying that if you desire to live godly in Christ Jesus, you are going to suffer persecution.
If we have wrong expectations, we are going to draw wrong conclusions.We can have an expectation that if we are pleasing the Lord, then everyone will like us and not persecute us. That’s a wrong conclusion. We can get knocked off course when we make a wrong conclusion.
Our conclusions influence our decisions.There is an underlying notion that everyone has to like us. And if they don’t like us, then they won’t like Jesus. But maybe it is that they don’t like Jesus, and that is why they don’t like us. That thought process influences decisions.
We can have an expectation (everyone has to like me), draw a wrong assumed conclusion (they won’t like Jesus if they don’t like me), and then make wrong decisions (e.g., not speaking Truth into a situation because it is the unpopular opinion).
Decisions lead to our destination. Wrong decision, wrong destination. I believe those wrong decisions are taking the Church off course in many ways.
1 Peter 4:12-16 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.
These verses are not saying if you are persecuted, but when you are persecuted for Christ, you are blessed. Peter gives a list of criminals (murderer, thief), but also adds “a troublesome meddler.” He reminds us that when we suffer, we are not to be ashamed. Not to be embarrassed. We are not to hang our head. But rather, we should “glorify God.”
When Scripture talks about those who suffered for Christ, there always followed an admonition of rejoicing. The enemy’s goal in any kind of oppression is to silence you. Whatever you do, do not be silent. In Acts 16, when they were released from jail, they were singing and praising and worshiping God. I think God wants to get us to the place where we can say, “Thank You. Thank You that I’ve been counted worthy in this measure.” Can we get to the place where we thank God for the persecution? Where we rejoice in our suffering?
Let’s make sure our expectations are right; then we cawhen ke more accurate conclusions. When we do that, we can make decisions that represent those conclusions. That will get us to our right destination.
Join us next week as Keith Tucci continues to put leadership truth in the context of the local church. And as always, please like, share, rate/review, and invite others to listen. See you next week!