In her recent book, Didn’t See That Coming, Rachel Hollis tries to help her readers face traumatic events that were unforeseen and to begin to put their lives back together after their world has fallen apart. Among her many observations, Hollis states, “I am willing to be the villain in someone else’s story if it means I can be the hero of my own.”
Her comment has important implications for Christians, for at least a couple of reasons.
First, we must always remember that Jesus was a villain to many people. John 1:11 says, “He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.” If anyone should have been expecting the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, it would have been the leaders of the Jews. But they did not accept him. King Herod plotted to kill the young child Jesus. Later, the Jewish leaders plotted to have Jesus arrested and killed. In order for them to be the heroes of their own stories, Jesus had to be made out to be the villain.
Secondly, those who follow Christ can expect the same kind of treatment from those who reject Jesus. 1 Peter 4:4 says, “They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you.” In order for those people to be the heroes of their own stories, we Christians must necessarily become the villains in their eyes.
Let’s remember who the real hero is—Jesus Christ, the son of God and the savior of the world! And let’s remember that in order to follow him we must risk being deemed villains by the same kind of people who rejected our Lord.
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”—Matthew 5:11-12.