When Paul finally arrived in Rome as a prisoner, he called together the local leaders of the Jews. He wanted to speak to them about why he had been sent to Rome in chains. As he introduced his desire, they responded by saying, “We have received no letters from Judea about you, and none of the brothers coming here has reported or spoken any evil about you. But we desire to hear from you what your views are, for with regard to this sect we know that everywhere it is spoken against” (Acts 28:21-22).
How sad. The sect that upholds the truth that can set us free is spoken against everywhere (I Timothy 3:15; John 8:32). If you are like me, you tend to think that such a great thing when presented properly will be accepted by all. Even if they decide not to agree at least they ought to appreciate what we believe and be tolerant of our goals. Yet, that is simply not the case.
No matter what we do, if we are faithful to God and His word, some will simply not like us. Jesus Himself said that some would speak against us and believe they are speaking in the name of God (John 15:21). That means some who even believe they are acting as Christians will persecute and speak out against those who are truly practicing the truth.
When others speak against us, instead of softening what Jesus taught or hiding in our church buildings, we need to rely on God. We can pray as the psalmist that God not allow our enemies to exult over us or put us to shame (Psalm 25:2). We can ask God to lead us on level paths and not give us up to the will of our adversaries (Psalm 27:11). False witnesses abound against us, but God can provide us with faith and victory. We can take refuge in God and seek His deliverance (Psalm 31:1-2).
We do not retaliate with vengeance. We do not try to put our enemies in their place. When we are wise, we will respond as Jesus did while on trial, simply allowing the enemies to speak. We do not have to provide a defense against our attackers. God will defend in His time. Rather, we treat those who would attack us with kindness, patience, love (Romans 12:20-21). We need to overcome evil with good, not rise to the evil and return it upon them. It is so easy to seek vengeance, to seek retaliation, to try to provide tit for tat. That is not how Christ would have us act.
Lean on Christ. Do the right thing. Be at peace with others as much as depends on you. Let our enemies beat their heads against the wall trying to get us to move away from Christ. We can take refuge in God and find deliverance. As we live by these means, some of our enemies will even be softened and repent, becoming able to glorify God on the day of visitation (I Peter 2:12).
No matter what we do, someone won’t like us. No matter what we do, some will speak against us. That will hurt us. However, we can lean on God and He will provide deliverance in His time. Let’s just do the right thing today no matter what anyone else says about us.