High School can change a person. On the first day of school, you walk in the door with a group of friends that go the same places, like the same things and even laugh at the same jokes. But high school brings new people, new places and new ideas. Your friends begin to make decisions that are different than your own. Some decide winning is everything while others decide grades are stupid. One decides parties are only fun with a beer in their hand while the next decides they can only relax if they are high. The friends you thought you knew so well have remade themselves into strangers.
But you decide to love them despite the changes. Instead of acting like you don’t know them, you’re friendly and ask how they are doing. But that’s when the strangest thing happens: the people you are trying so hard to be nice to, begin to act rude to your face and nasty behind your back. You can think of nothing you did to deserve such ugliness except being kind to them. But you see your kindness was exactly what caused the problem.
Even though people being mean in response to kindness lasts a whole lot longer than just high school, the confusion it creates never changes. How can love and kindness inspire ugliness and hate? In a message to teaching how to love one another, I John 3:13 says “Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you.” I don’t know about you, but even though the Bible tells me to not be surprised, I am always surprised when someone hates me.
Exclusion, gossip, vengeance and jealousy are reactions which can come from reaching out in love. But why? Why do people that really need love respond with hate? When you reach out in love to someone that is slipping in darkness, the light of Christ is shining through you. Darkness hates the light. Living in darkness looks pretty good until some loving kindness shines light on all the dirt and muck.
But here is my question for you: What do you do next? After your kindness meets rejection, do you pull away because they obviously do not want your love? That certainly makes sense. Who wants to keep getting hate thrown in their face? The problem is in Matthew 5:44 Jesus said”… love your enemies”. PERIOD. He didn’t say love your enemies unless they talk ugly about you, act rude to you, reject your kindness or just plain hate you. It’s their harsh reaction to your love that makes them the enemies Jesus is talking about you loving. Jesus doesn’t want you to be a doormat but He does want you to love the hard to love.
You may have noticed that rejection is not meant only for High School. Facing rejection with kindness is a lot harder than it looks. As a matter of fact, it’s impossible. There is nothing in us that wants to love those that reject us …except Christ. Lean on Christ. Let Him give you the words, the acts and the thoughts to love the hard to love.
We all remember high school. Are you amazed that those rejections can still hurt? What got you through the high school hurts?