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When they mock you…

Christians are not exempt to the mockery spewed by people of all kinds through the world. Though some cases are clearly worse than others, Christians are mocked and persecuted for their faith, sometimes even unto death. How are we, as Christians, to handle this or treat those who mock us? Jesus tells us in his famous “sermon on the mount.”

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
(Matthew 5:11-12 ESV)

The words of Jesus should be taken as promises, regardless of their contents. Christians are quick to remember that Jesus has promised that God will take care of us in our darkest times (Matthew 6:25-34) but sometimes fail to recognize that the above passage is likewise a promise. Jesus’ words of our coming persecution and mockery are just as guaranteed to come true as anything else he has said, no matter how drastically different the contents may be.

We must also recognize that Jesus passively reminds us that the slanders and mockery towards us are false. When someone of the world accuses us of doing something wrong or ridiculous, remember that Jesus has verified that what you are doing is actually aligned with the truth of God; to be mocked by the world is actually a way to make sure we are doing things right in God’s eyes!

What is expected of us in regard to such a promise? The first thing we need to recognize is that we are always going to be perceived as different to the world. The world will never see us as a part of them because our decisions and principles differ from theirs on many issues. Some of the main issues where we differ in 2019 are on the ideas of abortion, same-sex marriage, honesty, charity, and many more.

It is very easy for us to become discouraged when the world around us – even our friends – mock us for our faith. For years, I asked myself, “How could that person not understand that abortion is murder?” or “Why would that person tell me I’m stupid for keeping Passover this year?” Until recently, I wrestled with this and it often times left me depressed and feeling isolated, but one day I was sitting in a worship conference seminar and heard the speaker say, “Why should I expect a worldly person to act godly if God does not exist in them?” It all clicked. I’ve been in ministry for years, but somehow I neglected to understand this truth. I can’t possibly expect someone of the world to understand me and the decisions I make if the same spirit of God that dwells in me does not dwell in them because the indwelling of his spirit is the only reason I no longer see the world the way they do! From that moment on, I began to understand the words of Jesus in his sermon rather differently.

So next time you are mocked or made fun of for doing something godly or making a decision in line with the principles of the Bible rather than the world, understand that we cannot expect the people doing so to behave any differently until God radically changes their lives. Keep your head held high and continue to walk in righteousness even when it hurts because the kingdom of heaven is ours.

“And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.’”
(Matthew 5:2-12 ESV)

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