September 28, 2017

September 28, 2017

Acts 15:1-21


Haters are going to hate. No, seriously. Even when you’re doing what God has called you to do, making the most of the opportunities he has given you, risking your life to share the gospel, and rejoicing as God blesses this, haters will hate.


Word got around to some fringe groups of people within the church that Gentiles were being saved and immediately they had to call a meeting. Church leaders showed up, Paul and Barnabas showed up, and those who thought God was only for the Jews showed up. The conversation was heated and people were rude, but ultimately God’s will was clear, anyone could join the church. God loved everyone, not just the Jewish people.


Imagine for a moment you’re Paul, though. He had done a great thing over the last year. He had done exactly what Jesus was calling them to do. He made disciples of all nations. He went and lived the way Jesus had taught them to live and they were calling it a bad thing. People were persecuting him over it. They were trying to say it was wrong. They were ”hatin” and it was ridiculous.


Even when you do the right thing, people are going to be stupid. Selfish motives, secret motivations, and ignorant minds will often try to get in the way of the right thing. You can’t let that stop you, but you can’t just brush these people off. Paul went to the meeting. He made his case. He sought approval from the others. He was doing it right.


Just because someone else is wrong, doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve respect. In politics, in religion, in opinion, not agreeing is not permission to be disrespectful. Paul listened and made his case, submitted to the church counsel’s authority, even though God led him to do the things he did. He was right but he was respectful. Because you can be right, and be disrespectful, and end up completely wrong.


You might have critics. You might have haters. It doesn’t excuse you to be disrespectful. We must live above the mud an mess that others sling and simply continue to press on in what is right.