Commitment to God provokes persecution

Matthew 5 (MSG)

You’re Blessed

1-2 When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:

“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.

“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.

“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.

“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.

10 “You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.

11-12 “Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.

I’ve been struggling with a co-worker. This person over the past two months has gotten progressively more and more antagonistic towards me. I don’t know what to do about it other than to turn the other cheek as best I can and to bring it up to my boss when it has crossed a professional line.

This person sits right next to me which means I have a front row seat to various accusations and insults.

Over the past month these are some things that I have been told:

  • You look fatter
  • You are trying to play democratic games in the office
  • You are prejudice towards this client because they are from the same country as me
  • You are “Mother Mary”
  • Your college isn’t that great
  • You need to learn how to obey what I say
  • You are siding with this dept just by delegating internal work
  • You are trying to get me in trouble

All of these things are false and after speaking about this to my family and friends, I am reminded that sometimes just being a Christian makes people hate you. Being good at your job makes people hate you. Being sure of who you are makes people hate you.

It’s disheartening to know that this person speaks the above lies. It’s not even the fact that they are lies that hurt. It’s more of, hey, I’m trying to do my job, and so are you. Why do you have to be so spiteful? Why am I so interesting to you that you need to make up reasons to try to start an argument with me?

I don’t post this for attention. I’m posting this as a reminder, that sometimes we forget that this is the world we live in. As Christians you are looked at like dirt, like a clown, like a total fool. Sometimes even as a women you can be looked at as if you are drama, or not truthful. I’ve experienced all of these things and they have brought a heaviness to my heart some days. I listen to an entire worship CD every day on my way to work. I meditate and pray on my commute. I cling to God because my patience is thin for these attacks. I trust God.

But it can also be exhausting to continue to fortify yourself in the midst. Or to hear the buzzing of these “bees” around you. Sometimes its not the words themselves, its just the irritation of being stung over and over.

If you are experiencing something like this in your work or at home fill in your name below and be of good cheer. I am with you. God is with you.

Mine:

Not only that—Jessica is blessed every time people put her down or throw her out or speak lies about her to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. Jessica can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you, Jessica are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.

For you:

Not only that—____ is blessed every time people put ___ down or throw ___ out or speak lies about ___ to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. ___ can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that ___ are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.

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