Q. I have a question I hope you can sort out for me. Matthew 5: 11-12 states that we are blessed when we’re persecuted for Jesus’ sake. I have always thought that means, when people scoff if we are sharing the good news that Jesus died for our sins. But lately I have started to wonder: does it also apply when you refuse to do something you know God would hate, such as telling dirty jokes even though all your buddies are doing the same thing? When they laugh and call you a prude, is that the same as being reviled because of Jesus?
A. Matt. 5:11-12 says, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
The Greek words in this passage mean to revile, reproach, harass, or mistreat. In my opinion any behavior of ours that comes as a result of placing our concern for what the Lord will think of us above our concern for what man will think is covered. It doesn’t matter if we’re ridiculed as a result of doing something, such as sharing the Gospel, or as a result of not doing something, such as refusing to indulge in coarse or crude language. Either way we can expect a blessing.