Do you remember the XFL? If you have no idea what I'm talking about then God spared you the truly awful experience of watching indoor football meets the World Wrestling Federation. It was a concept to have a league that played during the NFL's off-season. It was truly awful, and thankfully only lasted one season. Players could have just about anything put on their jerseys for their name, therefor one man chose "He Hate Me" as his name. He explained that he choose the name because when he would win the other team would hate him. He also stated that if the coach put someone in to play besides him it was because "he hate me". Um, or maybe he was just giving the other guy playing time? Part of him wanted to people to hate him, i.e. the other team after he beat them, and part of him believed people hated him because they didn't chose him.
If the world hates you there is no doubt as to why. It hates you because you reflect Him who lives in you. Jesus is telling His disciples that the world will hate them, and that it's okay because they hate Him too. Earlier in this chapter He tells them that He chose them. In this verse He goes further and explains that they were chose to be out of the world. We aren't hated by the world because we beat them at a game, or because they didn't pick us. Rather we are hated because God picked us.
I hesitate writing this next part, but here it goes anyway. Too many Christians in today's culture want to be loved more than they want to love. They want to be relevant. Isn't there even a Christian magazine called that? They want to be accepted, so they accept everything. They are tolerant. They don't wear the jersey "He Hate Me" but rather the one that states "I'll Accept Everything So The World Will Love Me". And do you know who rejoices as Christians find themselves loved more by the world? Satan. He doesn't want to see Christians as not being of this world, but rather as embracers of everything in this world, no matter how unholy it may be.
God called us to be in the world, but not of it. (John 17:16) We have been told to embrace what is holy, and yes to love others. Not accept sin. Jesus told the woman thrown at His feet to go and sin no ore after He showed her the love of forgiveness. By the Law, she should have been stoned to death, but He showed love to her and spared her, but He also told her to go and sin no more. Somehow I doubt she was ever in another man's bed again. She experienced His love and, hopefully, listened to His words and stop her sinful way.
When God speaks into my life to reveal sin, it hurts. Not because He is being mean, but because I feel awful. I see the sin and how unholy it is and know He could choose to cast me away. But His love is two-fold in that it exposed the sin to me and it forgave me. I can't just get up out of the dirt at His feet and go and continue that sin. I experienced His forgiveness, His love, so how could I possibly.
No I am not God, and I can't offer forgiveness of sin. But I can speak Truth into the lives of those around me who are acting of the world. They may hate me, the verse above tells me that. But they may also hear the Truth and be set free. They may feel the love and forgiveness of God and go and sin no more. We Christians, need to stop trying to live in this world by being of it, but rather live in this world by being of His Kingdom. We will be hated by those who hate Him. But I would rather be hated by them than not belong separated from the world and with Him.