Being a people lover is quite different than being a people pleaser. Truly loving others with our eyes set on things eternal, usually puts us squarely at odds with the “mine”, “right now”, “my way”, perspective of so many. To please them would be to applaud their captivity, their sickness, their death, their destruction – and that is not love at all. Perfect love earns us a place on the cross of persecution.
How can we who love Christ please the reprobate and rebellious, who know nothing of the ways of eternity and life – who believe their lives are short and tedious, and that there is no antidote, no remedy, for death. They don’t believe that any man has returned from the grave. They just expect their body to return to ashes and their spirit to vanish like the wind. They expect no one to remember them and for their life to have no eternal consequence. So they say to themselves, let’s enjoy the good things, let’s fill ourselves with expensive drinks and drugs and delicious food. Let’s leave the sounds of our raucous partying everywhere we go, because this is our only inheritance, our only treasure, our only purpose in this life. And let’s stand and mock and test these foolish righteous men, and let’s take advantage of the poor, and the simple, and the old, and the orphan, and the widow.
And we will lie in wait for the righteous man, we will do our best to trouble him, because his cleanliness, his humility, his love and service to the undeserving and weak is a putrid stench in our nostrils, it is a blinding light that burns our stinging eyes. If such a man is as wise as he believes himself, and if his God is as faithful as He professes Him to be, and if this “child of God” is not just a Fatherless fool, then let’s see his God save him. We hate his life because it is not like ours, his ways are so different than ours that it is hard for us to even watch him as his life seems to be intent on reproving and condemning us without ever speaking a word against us.
We can tell from his life that it is clear to him that we are counterfeits, so let’s test him by setting ourselves in opposition to him, let’s despise and torture him, let’s spread lies and rumors about him, let’s test and prove this meekness and patience that he professes to value so highly. If he thinks that a shameful death is, by his own words, something to be respected – let’s show him our respect for him clearly and openly in the public square, in the courts of man’s justice that we have bought with our silver and gold.