Are You making people uncomfortable with the way you live? That may seem like an odd question until you realize Jesus made a habit of making those around Him uncomfortable. If we want to live like Jesus, shouldn’t we be less concerned with having everyone like us and more concerned with making people uncomfortable when we interact with them? I’m not certain where the goal of getting along with everyone came from, but it’s ridiculous if you think about it.
We are called to stand out and be different (1 Peter 2:9). We are also called to be bold and proclaim the name of Jesus (Matthew 10:32; 1 Corinthians 16:13). By obeying those two commands alone, there is no way we are going to be the “go along to get along” kind of people. When we choose Jesus, we choose to ruffle more than a few feathers by the way we live.
Jesus focused on His mission and didn’t have time to concern Himself with what others thought of Him. In contrast, we seem to spend an inordinate amount of time making sure we don’t offend anyone. I’m not advocating being careless with the feelings of others or being a boorish jerk. What I am saying is there will be times when we must speak up. We must stand out and even be abrasive. Our goal is not to be inoffensive but to preach the gospel in whatever situation we find ourselves. It’s okay if people don’t like us. I will be happy for all to hate me if it results in a single person coming to know Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Time and again, Jesus went against what the people expected of Him and simply spoke the truth of God. He refused to allow the wrong teaching of the Pharisees to go unchallenged. When invited to the home of a prominent person, He allowed a sinful woman to wash His feet with her tears (Luke 7:36-50). It was a social nightmare, but making people uncomfortable was a way of life for Him. Jesus ate with tax collectors, touched those who were diseased and unclean, and eschewed the political correctness of His day. We’re a long way from living life as He modeled it.
Everywhere Jesus went, He was making people uncomfortable. In Jesus, they could see a man living life so different, so single-minded, that everyone marveled at Him. Not everyone liked Him, but a cursory reading of the New Testament informs us no one was unaffected by His presence. And then there’s us. What are we doing to make those around us uncomfortable? Why is it we get along with this world so much better than Jesus did?
We’re not making people uncomfortable because we’ve become too comfortable in this world. We forget we are spiritual creatures merely inhabiting a human body for a short time. Because we enjoy the comforts of the flesh so much, we are damning our souls. Our desire to be liked in this world is eclipsing the desire to store up treasures in Heaven (Matthew 6:19-21). We are wretched people. Having received the greatest gift, we despise the gift and yearn to live the way we desire for ourselves.
It’s time we began making people uncomfortable. Let’s bring Jesus into every conversation. Perhaps we’ll lose some friends, but oh the joy if we win some for the Kingdom! Refuse to hold your tongue in the presence of sin and evil. In the midst of injustice, do not stand idly by with the crowd. Take action and be the exception. Show the world Jesus by the way you live. Making people uncomfortable should not be a mark of shame, but a badge of honor. When we make people uncomfortable by exposing sin and hypocrisy, we are doing the work of our Father. We are being faithful to our King.