Things I Like About Jesus: He Didn't Care What Others Thought

jesus-231724_640.jpg

Call it codependency, people-pleasing, or peer pressure, but I like to be liked. A lot of us do, we want others to like us, and that desire is not necessarily dumb, but what is dumb is when we sell out for it.

I’m from California, so everyone assumes I and everyone around grew up surfing and skateboarding. Not true. But in every great skateboarding movie there is always a sell out moment. That is the time in the movie where the best skater trades decides to become a sponsored skater, and his friends usually feel betrayed.

Why? Because when you become sponsored you give up your individuality and start doing, saying, and going where the sponsor tells you. Which is a bummer.

If you are like me, then you would say take the money and the free equipment! But in these movies, the friends never take that approach. There is usually a moment where the skater makes a defining moment to throw off his sponsorship and go back to his skating life pre-sell out.

In a lot of ways following Jesus is like that. I want to follow Him, and live out the purpose that He has for me. I want to live out the adventure of being me on a daily basis, but at the same time I want people to like me.

See Jesus does not want us to lose our individuality; He wants to help us become exactly the unique individuals that He created. The world does want us to lose it though, the media, well-intentioned friends, and every other influence wants us to think, feel, and believe like them. And that is the pull. It says “Be unique, be like this.” (Hardly unique, right?)

Jesus was never concerned about that kind of stuff though, He was too busy doing the impossible to worry about what others thought of Him, and I think we should do the same.

The biggest part for me is the Gospel though, when I share with people what Jesus has done in my life I want them to stoked and want to join the family, but some people just get tweaked. And that is okay! Jesus did the same thing!

He even went as far as to say, “Do you think I’ve come with a nice little message of peace? No way. Believe Me, My message will divide.”[1]

See I don’t like that, because I want Jesus to say that everyone will love Him, and all I have to do is say His name and people will be excited, but that is not the case. Jesus knew that His message is offensive because He claimed to be God and also to be the only way into Heaven. That is about as exclusive as it gets. So I can see why people of different religions would be upset.

But if He is right, and He is the only way into Heaven then nothing else matters. It does not matter whether a Buddhist thinks that is a jerk move, or whether an Atheist finds that to be a ridiculous premise. The only thing that matters is whether or not Jesus was right.

Disclaimer: Jesus’ message is definitely divisive and offensive, but in the best way. He was not being a jerk because He hates 95% of the world, but instead He was explaining that His love is a gift that people must accept, He does not force anyone into Heaven and His arms but choose it personally.

And while His message is divisive it is not an excuse for Christians to be. We are not called to picket funerals or cram religious reform through the senate, we are called  to Love God and Love People, it is really that simple. Jesus was simple. So should His followers.

[1] Luke 12:51 The Voice