“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.” vs. 11
Most people enjoy hearing good things said about themselves and love the affirmations that come with popularity. To put it simply, we like being liked! In order for that to happen however, we’ll have to refrain from controversy as much as possible. We’ll have to be careful about what we say or do, even if it means being silent about things that matter deeply. If our intentionally non-offensive strategy works, as it often does, almost all others will speak well of us and we’ll have amazingly tranquil lives. Many followers of Jesus will fall into this category. But thank God for those who don’t! Jesus even sets aside a special blessing in the beatitudes for disciples who risk offending others for the sake of the gospel. It’s not that they’re being mean or nasty, but speaking truth to power is the guiding principle of their lives. Throughout the history of the church, folks like this have faced persecution or even death; at the very least, they’ve made a bunch of enemies. These are the saints who have been on the front lines in every important battle against injustice and for equality. Because of their work, because they’ve risked the disfavor of family and friends, the oppressed of this world have experienced freedom and liberation. Thanks be to God for saints who care more about faithfulness than popularity!
Thought for the Day: For what am I willing to lose friends or risk my life?