There are elements of the truth that are sharp and biting... almost antagonistic.  Whether it’s a political protestor shouting in the face of a soldier, or a parent rebuking a rebellious child, it is understandable that people would react against such criticism, no matter how true it might be.

But strangely enough, the passive aspects of truth can often bring greater reprisals than more aggressive words and actions.  When I say 'passive truth' I do not mean lukewarmness or insipid compromise. What I mean is a full-on willingness to do anything we can to help the other person as inoffensively as possible, even to the point of laying down our lives for them.

It usually takes a little longer for people to get the full impact of such a witness, but when they sense this commitment, it can anger them in totally irrational ways.  The purer the love, the more alien one comes across to a selfish world.  And a willingness to turn the other cheek over and over again, and even lay down our lives for our enemies can go so far as to convince them that we must be destroyed.

It's almost as predictable as a mathematical formula: The measure of your sincerity will determine the measure of spite that insincere people will feel toward you; and the more gentle you are, the more violent will be their hatred when they finally express it.

This is a difficult principle to accept. First it is hard for us to believe that such is the case, and then, when we start feeling it personally, it’s hard to keep loving in the face of it.  Society hates martyrs, and never stops telling us that "if you're getting persecuted, it must be because you deserve it." Obviously, if this is so, then Jesus was just a trouble-maker. The Bible records that he caused divisions wherever he went.  (e.g. John 7:43) What people are not prepared to do themselves to show love is what will most infuriate them when they see others practicing it.  You only have to give love a try to either see it in others or see it in yourself.

Jesus never shirked from speaking up against self-righteousness and hypocrisy, which obviously didn't win him many friends in the synagogues. But most of his life was spent just doing good and helping others. His refusal to argue at his trial probably angered his persecutors and sealed his fate as much as anything he had said previously. If he had lost his cool and engaged in a shouting match it may have been just enough to satisfy everyone that "at least he's human”… maybe even resulting in them letting him go.  But the peace that came through in Jesus convinced them that he was a monster, deserving of the most cruel death they could think of.

It is tempting to get into heated discussions with people when we know we are right and when we know that we can prove it. This does happen from time to time, occasionally with good results. But merely winning an argument (i.e. a heated discussion where no one is listening) won't really change anyone, and it could destroy our own spirit in the process. Usually our silence will speak far more loudly than our shouting.

As our faith grows, our confidence should grow too. We will come to see that we can engage in very innocent, loving, helpful activities and at the same time be waging a mighty battle against spiritual wickedness that will challenge the very foundations of an evil world.  We are “not of this world”, as Jesus said, and people will recognise that as we practice the kind of love that Jesus taught.  We don’t need scales on our bodies or a Darth Vader helmet for people to start thinking that we are a threat to the human race.

What is most striking, is that the more innocent and genuinely helpful that our actions are prior to the persecution, the more powerful will be the impact, and in most cases, the more shocking will be the reaction.  So if you really want to do something lasting and helpful with your life, prepare yourself for some serious opposition along the way.

*Please check out this video for more information related to this article: "The Coming Aliens"