“If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.” John 15:19
I just started a new job this week and turns out, I work with a guy that lived on my street as a kid.
He was mean.
He and his twin brother were probably 6 or 7 years older than me; an elementary school kid, while they were starting high school. At the bus stop in the morning, they would spit on us (my sister and our other elementary school aged friends) and even one time they shoved my backpack under a passing Madison Metro city bus.
That not only crushed my Holly Hobbie lunch box, and gave me a very hungry belly, but my spirit and any ounce of respect that I had for them.
They were bullies and I didn’t like them.
So when I saw his name plate at the office, I was nervous. Realistically, I knew he was now a grown up adult and probably very different, but in the back of my mind I still remembered how he treated me. I even heard that he “is such a nice guy,” but it didn’t matter.
The past was burned into my memory.
Of course once I did meet him again and share who I was…as well as a ribbing him a bit and letting him know he was a bully… I saw that he really was a nice guy.
But isn’t it interesting how that one instance I had with him, granted it was over a period of years, but how it affected me?
We must be aware of how we treat others as well as the choices we make; the words we use, songs we listen to, movies we watch, what we stand for and how we live. People are watching and are very much affected by our actions and as Christians we may just be the only picture of Christ or the Bible a person gets.
He used to get teased about his convictions and how he lived his life but he stayed strong and stood tall for the cause of Christ.
One classmate used to tease him the most; he would mock him and ridicule him daily, going out of his way to do things he knew Jax wouldn’t appreciate. So when Jax, 20 years later, got a friend request from this guy on Facebook, he immediately refused it.
This friend request continued to bug Jax. It, like the bully himself, seemed to pop up daily and Jax would see it over and over and over again. So finally, he accepted it and braced for the onslaught which certainly followed.
This guy, this bully, who literally made high school a living Hell for Jax now approached him humbly and sorrowfully. He apologized for how he treated Jax and admitted that had he only listened to Jax or paid attention, he would’ve avoided a lot of heart ache and bad choices in his life.
The most astounding thing he shared was that since high school, and the influence Jax had on him, he accepted Christ as his Savior, got married, has 7 or 8 kids and is now the pastor of a Bible believing church.
God tells us that we will be persecuted, we will be attacked. Stand strong. God needs us to be His hands, His feet, His hugs and His heart. He will use you.
“But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me.” John 15:21
“You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.” Matthew 10:22