That’s how I feel when people are mad at me or criticize me
unfairly. It can’t stand it. Know what I’m sayin’, holmes? I wish that I didn’t give a rip about what people thought of me, in a healthy way that doesn’t contort my gut into creative shapes. I have no idea what it looks like to let things roll off your shoulders, but it’s one of the many things that I want to know more out about how Jesus handled those situations.
This is the subject of one of the convos I want to have with Jesus someday. How did Christ handle it when people didn’t like Him? You don’t have to get too far into any one of the Gospels to find that. Jesus was accused of a lot of things, but being a people pleaser was definitely not one of them.
- He faced people who misunderstood His teachings.
- He dealt with haters who could not stand His popularity among the common person, outcast, down and out, social rejects, and “sinners.”
- He listened to the religious elite chastise Him, call Him names, and even accuse Him of demonic influence.
- He was accused of things He never said, did, or cared about.
- He had people who did not like Him, no matter how well He treated them.
- Even His own tribe of disciples misunderstood Him and sometimes outright reprimanded Him.
Jesus tackled all of this in stride. He was graceful, loving, and accepting. He confronted people in the perfect way they needed to be. But He still had all of those people against Him nonetheless.
How did you do it, Jesus? Did you ever stay up at night, tossing and turning because of it? Did your heart break every single day? What did you say to people, beyond the words we have recorded? Did you ever go and patch things over (without compromising what you stood for)? Would you have sent a Hallmark card? (Did they have Hallmark papyrus back then?)
If you struggle with this, too, make some time to read through the Gospels. Check out how Jesus handles adversaries and friends alike when they squared off against Him. Matthew 9, 12, and 23, Mark 8, and John 21 are all great examples.
May you and I look a little bit more like Jesus tomorrow, even if someone has a bone to pick with us. May you refuse to ignore your gut, because those feelings just might be the key that leads to reconciliation.