“Write this to the angel of the church in Smyrna: These are the words of the one who is the first and the last, who died and came back to life: I know your hardship and poverty (though you are actually rich). I also know the hurtful things that have been spoken about you by those who say they are Jews (though they are not, but are really Satan’s synagogue). Don’t be afraid of what you are going to suffer. Look! The devil is going to throw some of you into prison in order to test you. You will suffer hardship for ten days. Be faithful even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. If you can hear, listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. Those who emerge victorious won’t be hurt by the second death. (Revelation 2:8-11, CEB)
I know the things that are being said about you by those who say they are _______.
People say all kinds of things about others they think they know about. We think we know others by the few details we have of their life. And we make decisions based upon those details. We do not know the whole story. We can not understand the complexities of someone else’s life when we can barely figure out our own.
Do not let someone else’s judgment of your life determine who you are.
You and God alone know that and it doesn’t matter who they say you are or who they claim to be. The religious may not be as religious as they think they are and even if they are they still are not you.
Do not worry about what others say, worry about what God says. Be true to the person God created you to be and let the others just wallow in their own scorn.
But do it all in love.
Loving People. Loving God.