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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Psalm 139:17, 18 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
2 Corinthians 5:1-5 For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 10:13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.