Daily D – Matthew 5:10
Matthew 5:10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (NIV)
I returned home from Anaheim, California last night where I attended meetings related to the Southern Baptist Convention. It was good to sleep in my bed with my pillow. Somehow, I slept right through my alarm this morning. Travel, late nights, and early mornings wear down a person.
An observation: Some people appear to have a persecution complex. They think anyone who disagrees with them is persecuting them especially if the idea at debate leads to a vote and they lose the vote. I’m pretty sure this is not what Jesus was talking about in this verse and the two following.
Disagreement is not persecution. Neither is it persecution if people make a strong reaction to your belligerence. Peacemakers (verse 9) are not belligerent.
Here is a simple truth for today: We cannot act like jerks and call other people’s responses toward us persecution. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness.” Do not miss, “because of righteousness.” Fighting, shouting, and other belligerent behavior is almost never a matter of righteousness.
In other words, persecution for righteousness is not the same thing as strong responses to when we behave like jerks.
I will not be a jerk.
Our Father, deliver us from belligerence. Make us more cooperative, collaborative, and agreeable. Empower us to do the right thing in the right way always and allow the chips to fall where they may. Save us from a persecution complex that sees every disagreement as an attack. Amen.
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Acts 10:34, 35 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.”
Acts 5:38, 39 Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”