Blessed are those who are persecuted because of
righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
It’s a jarring jump from peacemaking to persecution. But there is an unavoidable clash when irreconcilable value systems intersect.
An anything-goes culture finds the righteousness for which Christians hunger and thirst distasteful. Slander is the mother tongue of those who are contemptuous of Christian standards.
To avoid being branded narrow, judgmental, and bigoted, it’s tempting to acquiesce to depraved lifestyles. But compromise with hedonistic behavior that is clearly contrary to Scripture isn’t an option for the Christian.
Warning! If persecution comes be certain it is “because of righteousness”—not because of offensive behavior. Christ’s benediction of “Blessed” is pronounced only on those who are maligned “falsely” (v. 11).
Those so persecuted are blessed, “for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” an unspeakably great reward (v. 12).
Don’t retaliate. Radiate.