Jesus said, “If they persecuted me they will persecute you.” Paul wrote, “It has been granted to you not only to believe (In Christ) but also to suffer for His sake.” Jesus also said, “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Mt 5:11-12)
Recently Dan Savage spoke to a group of high school journalists on the topic of bullying. In the middle of his speech he misrepresented Christianity, the Bible, and attacked Christians in the most offensive way imaginable. In fact, it is so virulent and laced with hate speech (Not to mention crude language) that I will not post the actual video on this site. I will give a link… but be warned… especially if you are a Christian, you will be offended (Click here for the video). But I have another point to make that is more important than Mr. Savage’s tirade… namely my admiration for young Christian teenagers who walked out without saying a word. They’re also in the video and THEY are who I want you to see. These young people took a stand for Christ that made God smile (See yesterday’s post).
The Christian response to suffering and persecution is REJOICING. The Christian response to personal attacks is to be exceedingly glad! The Christian response to verbal abuse and all manner of insults is to turn the other cheek. Mr. Savage was only doing what Christians themselves once did before their conversion. Mr. Savage simply spoke what was in his heart because “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” Christians must not expect unbelievers to conduct themselves as believers. Rather believers are to follow the example of Christ when he was persecuted… which is to pray for and love our enemies!
Jesus didn’t suffer so that Christians wouldn’t suffer, but so that when they suffer they would be like Him.