“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven...” ~Matthew 5:11-12a (NRSV).
Most of us don’t receive the recognition we deserve most of the time. All of us miss it at least occasionally. God, however, has more in mind so far as recognition’s concerned—and we don’t even have to wait until heaven to retrieve it.
The other side of recognition is the sort of treatment Jesus alludes to above.
Many people leave good jobs because there’s scant recognition; how much worse to receive persecution?
But the key to Jesus’ beatitude, here, are the words, “on my account...”
On Jesus’ ‘Account’
Perhaps one way of reframing “on my account” is to think in terms of “on account of the truth.” Of course, there’s the more literal rendering—that we might be reviled and persecuted because we’re actually evangelising in Jesus’ name.
But the frame can easily be broader. Jesus did say, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6a).
When we advocate the truth—believing in it, and quietly standing up for it—we act on Jesus’ account.
Receiving What’s Really Ours – True Recognition
We’ll not receive all of what we’re due—blessings and judgment—until heaven, that’s for sure. But the truth doesn’t wait until the end of our earthly lives.
For instance, if we have the situational maturity and the humility to see the truth, including our faults and the winsome qualities of others, all in balance—a difficult thing to do—God gives us our own veritable, believable perceptions. These are positive ones that allow self-confidence to flow even from within the negative facts that might threaten to weigh us down.
We redeem the blessedness of God—the sense of Divine recognition beyond any human kudos—when we genuinely reach, and accept, the truth in what we’ve done and how we’ve acted.
This is not really receiving God’s blessings in advance, for we ought to believe that our Lord wants to bless us now and to come. Still, great is our reward in heaven for the good we do; especially when done with little recognition.
When we do things on account of the truth, and we see them in balance, and especially when the recognition of people is negligible, we can know reassurance through what God’s saying to us in our own understanding of the matters at hand. We need to believe this is from God.
God is truth.
We receive in truth.
Allow the sense of appropriate recognition to sink in. Take time to enjoy it.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.