I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. (John 17:14)

“What happens if someone yells at us?” asked fifteen-year-old Shawn. He was a bit nervous about his first time out with his church’s street ministry team. The leader, Roy, understood Shawn’s concern. He smiled and replied, “Who are they really mad at, Shawn—you or Jesus?” Shawn thought for a moment. “I guess they’re mad at Him, not us.” Roy picked up a hymnbook, held it out between him and Shawn, and tilted it at an angle toward the ceiling. “Shawn,” he said, “pretend you have a ‘spiritual mirror.’ Every time someone rejects you for witnessing, shine that rejection toward Jesus. They’re rejecting Him, not you. And every time someone appreciates your ministry, shine that toward Jesus, too. It all belongs to Him—all the rejection and all the glory.”

It’s not the clothes you wear, the car you drive, or the sports team you support (or oppose). The one thing that brings you rejection from a number of people is your faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus made it clear that He didn’t “belong” because He was not of this world, and that as long as you are committed to Him, you don’t belong, either. But take heart: the world’s rejection is one more sign that you belong to Christ and will live forever with Him in His world.

Shine the love of Jesus toward those who reject you.

Paul Zinter has served as a pastor and editor. He enjoys writing, bread making, and teaching at his local church.