Don’t take it personally
Pastor Mark Jeske

“Don’t shoot the messenger!” That’s what we holler when we get some major blowback to what we’ve said. When we are simply relaying someone else’s decision, when we are just stating company policy, when we are only passing on the boss’ instructions, we don’t have to take personally people’s attitudes about the content. It’s not our content. Their real issue is with someone else.

On Maundy Thursday evening, in the darkened upper room, Jesus gave extensive last teaching to his disciples to prepare them for a lifetime of representing him. He didn’t sugarcoat it—he gave it to them straight. They were going to take some major abuse for the message that they would bring to the world, that Christ Jesus is the only Savior of sinners like them.

But they shouldn’t take that abuse personally. “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. . . . ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also” (John 15:18,20). When you speak about appropriate sexual behaviors today, for instance, and dare to suggest that sex belongs only in marriage, you may be mocked. When you state your belief that God made the world in six days, you may be lampooned as an unscientific buffoon. When you tell people that hell is real and that only Jesus can keep you out of it, some may snicker and roll their eyes.

Don’t take it personally. You’re only the messenger.


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