John 7:7 - "The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil."
I get fretted when I hear self-appointed, evangelical "leaders" tell us how to live "missionally" and be men-pleasers so then we can witness to them the Gospel of Jesus.
I never see Jesus trying to win friendship with the world by being like the world or catering to them -- He loved the world, evidenced by His death for sinners (surely) but also by telling the truth -- in fact He is the Truth. He exposed the evilness in the heart of man; He exposed the evil works of man as evil; He shone light in darkness, and darkness hates the light.
As Christians, "little Christs", I ask, "who hates us?" Does the world hate us, or do they simply tolerate us? Perhaps they laugh at us, and that really upsets some of us -- its like we want the world's apporoval and friendship.
I don't make a big deal out of it, but some Christian "leaders" have been sneering down their noses at some of the brethern for making a big deal of not patronizing stores that refuse to use the word "Christmas." So be it. When did it become OK for Christians not to stand up for Jesus' name? OK, you may think it silly to boycott said stores, that we're not going to impact the Kingdom by such foolishness. But at least these brethren are standing up for something and not just letting the world forget Jesus -- the reason for the season. Let the stores hate us Christians; let the world hate us Christians -- then we might be looking more like our Master.
I'm not advocating being a jerk. Jesus wasn't a jerk. But may we so live and conduct our lives in this darkness that it will be unmistakeable that we have been with Jesus. May we not be so consumed with winning the friendship of the world, but may we be consumed with being Jesus-pleasers.