Bible Reading: Mt. 5:10
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Thought for Reflection:
What does it mean to be persecuted because of righteousness? Although righteousness is connected with seeking to live a holy life, it isn’t primarily about following rules. It is about living out a faithful relationship with God. This verse does not justify us trying to force non-Christians to follow how we perceive the Bible says we should live. When we do that, it shouldn’t be surprising if people respond with anger – and rightly so, what right have we got to say how they live? This isn’t the persecution that this refers to. Rather it’s the persecution that comes from people being made uncomfortable when they sense God in us, the God they deny or hide from. That response, Jesus says, is, although we shouldn’t seek it, in fact an affirmation of our relationship with him. It says it is real.
Father, help us to have the sort of relationship with you that means that people see you in us. When they are attracted by what they see, help us to share you with them, when they react against it, help us to find our peace in you and not fight back.