Principles for Local Church 07 Learn to Handle Being Hated

Joseph was a big dreamer, and he told his dream to his brothers and rather than rejoice in his dream, they hated him yet the more (Genesis 37.5).

I have found that if you really want to achieve your dreams, if you really want to walk in victor, if you really want to win in life, someone will always hate you. The bigger the dream, the more the hatred. There are rivers of hatred that will come your way and you need to learn how to surf them! We must not respond to hatred in a natural, carnal way, we have to respond in a spiritual way.

You must learn to respond with hate with love. We must learn to handle our detractors with love and patience and kindness and not envy and bragging and acting unbecomingly! One of the hallmarks of love according to 1 Cor. 13 is that love is not easily provoked. Getting provoked is one of satan’s favourite ways to get you to leave the local church that Jesus has assigned you too.

Joseph’s brothers hated him but he loved them. When he was promoted above them, he used that position to feed them not get revenge on them. That kind of heart is essential. I am in the position now where we are funding projects of other churches who tried their hardest to stop us growing and planting! That’s a good place to be. I will not let other people’s behaviours provoke me.

Often if we do not deliberately focus on choosing love, we act at the level we are treated. If we did not get love, we don’t care. If no-one in the church noticed us, we fail to notice others. If a leader is selfish, we become more selfish. That is not the way!

We need to learn how to surf a wave of hate and still stay loving, and still dream big even when being rejected and persecuted. There are times people have deliberately stood in the way of my dreams, lied about me, attacked me, tried to get me excluded from certain situations. That’s not abnormal sadly, you will be rejected if you want to succeed – rejected by your class, your friends, your tribe, your nation. This is a real experience that you have to learn to surf.

Some keys to surfing a wave of hatred aimed at you.

  1. Remember this is not everyone. Some people hate me, but other people really love me, they celebrate me, they want me to come and minister to them, they seek out my prayers. They promote me. You realize this wave is not the entire ocean, it really helps you press on. Sometimes one person’s reaction can feel like everyone’s reaction and it just isn’t true.
  2. Do not let the wave of hate move you. Do not leave a church because of hatred, do not move to PITYTOWN and start pitying yourself and having a pity party. Do not move to a mindset of feeling unloved. Stay where God has placed you.
  3. If you are hated because you are not fully developed in an area, get developed.
  4. Do not stop dreaming. Even when his brothers hated him, Joseph went and had another dream! I love that.
  5. Do not drown in the wave of hate. It’s not worth it.

The hardest time of hatred and rejection is when it is someone you admire and look up to. A pastor you respect, a teacher you admire – and they try and shut you down or dismiss you or even worse persecute you. It’s really hard.

I know one man, who is now with the Lord, who rejected me even though I was utterly committed to his ministry. He treated me like a wild man even though I loved him and served him and gave to him. He seemed to welcome people who did not love him and were using him. I thought “why am I being so loyal to this man”, I was tempted to let the wave move me. But I kept dreaming and God turned the whole thing around and I am walking in some big dreams right now.

Do not retreat when rejected. And do not respond with hate. There will always be haters. Haters cannot stop you walking in your destiny, but you descending into hating yourself will!

I used to think if a pastor was hated they must be a bad pastor, but now I know universally liked pastors are generally the bad pastors! A good pastor is loved by some and hated by others. Jesus was not liked by everyone and nor is anyone trying to be like Him!


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Tree of Life Church

We are a growing network of growing churches, with services weekly in Dagenham, Guildford, Watford, Croydon, Brentwood and Dorset. We are also planting churches in Cambridge, Suffolk, West Midlands and Hemel. Find out more at, and

One thought on “Principles for Local Church 07 Learn to Handle Being Hated”

  1. Amen and amen! So spot on and something I have been mediating on since Saturday.
    We all have an assignment and distractor will try to shut down the provision of your assignment. However, we must retreat (loose focus). We are going to endure this experience (pain) in love. Awesome! This one calls for a cartwheel from my house to the end of my road.

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