A Facebook friend this morning was talking about the atmosphere over the holidays between friends, family and themselves post-election. She explained that it had gotten nasty and that people around various tables and in various places were telling lies about what she thought — and what it meant to think that way — in the world of fake news and hysteria we find ourselves in. Scripture popped out at me:
Matthew 5:11-16 “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. ”
If you are standing up for right during this post-election, if you’re being attacked for caring, if people are misconstruing your intentions so they can attack you, Jesus says you’re on the right side of things.
Feeling better now? Not really? Me, either. It’s clearly no fun in the moment. Jesus on the cross is the ultimate example of both how un-fun it is, and how much of a blessing to the world we are, ultimately, when people bully us or harass us for doing the right thing. Is it hard to remember at the time? Absolutely. Are you right to do it? Absolutely.
Speaking of hard to remember, Jesus’ next lines are: “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
“Losing your saltiness” sounds like a bad thing. Losing your essential nature is what it can feel like. Certainly we lose our spiciness and twinkle during tough times, but our essential nature? Sure seems possible, but here’s the thing: no one ever has thrown out salt because it’s not salty anymore. Our essential nature, our soul, our strength, our core being is never destroyed. It takes a while to dust it off and find it under all the stuff being said and all the pain we’re feeling, but it is still there.
And if it is still there, dust it off, find the gem of truth within you and remember what Jesus said next: “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven”.
People remember God’s beauty and truth when they see yours! Speak your truth! Continue to speak your truth! Find your spiciness again! Then speak your truth some more! In the end, love wins, and pettiness looks like the pettiness it is. Lies are seen to be lies. Goodness is seen for the goodness it is. Truth is seen for the truth it is.
Rest up if you must, to uncover the Truth within yourself, and yes, it stinks that you need to, but you are the light of the world! You are already blessed.
Resisting with peace,