11“God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. 12Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.Teaching about Salt and Light13“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.14“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
So I blog.
I’ve been blogging for a while – close to 10 years. It started as a way to promote my business. Eventually blogging turned into actual writing. Writing became a passion which turned into a hobby which I’ve pivoted back into a business a couple of times and ways.
Through this journey, my writing has shifted from business related to general life principles and now to faith.
To promote my blog, I occasionally send emails to a list I’ve collected over the years. Many of the people on the list aren’t followers of Jesus, so occasionally I get pushback on my more pointedly Christian material.
Every time I receive an email or an online comment or a Facebook message, my heart tightens. I think, “Someone doesn’t like what I have to say! How should I respond?” Interestingly, Not once have I ever thought, “JOY! I’m so glad! Someone is questioning my faith [smiley face]”
I just haven’t thought to do that.
Rejoice & be Glad!
Jesus commands me otherwise.
He says “Rejoice and be glad…” (literally, be full of gladness and be glad). That’s a lot of happy in a rough position – mocking, persecution, lies, various sorts of evil – all beyond a little push back, yet we are to be glad and then glad some more.
Let’s talk about the why. Why are we glad and glad a little more?
Let’s look at verses 13 through 16. If you’re bible is like mine, there is a section break between 12 and 13. All of Matthew 5 is from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. He didn’t preach this with a section break. Persecution and Joy flow right into Salt and Light.
We are glad in the midst of pushback because we are salt and light. Questions, persecution, pushback means we’re still salty; we’re still bright.
When people say things that make my heart tighten up, it means I’m still salty, my light still shines bright.
When was the last time someone questioned your faith? Think about it. These moments are a litmus test of your salt and light. We live in a culture where persecution is light and mile, but it’s happening more and more.
When you are questioned or even truly persecuted, rejoice! You are salt. You are light.
Better yet, rewards await you (vs 12).
Today, be blessed. God is for you, even when people aren’t!