Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake:
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Question: What does it mean to be “persecuted for righteousness’ sake”?
Answer: We learned in the fourth Beatitude that righteousness is “action or thought which is in line with divine or moral law. Righteousness is all that is right, just, fair, and good.” Therefore, if anyone is being subjected to cruel taunts or mockery for his or her sincere efforts at being good and obeying God, then they are being “persecuted for righteousness’ sake.”
The Psalmist knew about being persecuted for righteousness’ sake:
“The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him.” (Ps. 37)
“They also that render evil for good are mine adversaries; because I follow the thing that good is.” (Ps. 38)
We must continue to be righteous no matter what, because we are helping the whole world when we do so. Mary Baker Eddy tells us:
“The dew of heaven will fall gently on the hearts and lives of all who are found worthy to suffer
for righteousness, — and have taught the truth which is energizing, refreshing, and consecrating
mankind.” (Mis. 291)
Mrs. Eddy speaks of her own experience:
“There is scarcely an indignity which I have not endured for the cause of Christ, Truth, and I
returned blessing for cursing. The best help the worst; the righteous suffer for the unrighteous;
and by this spirit man lives and thrives, and by it God governs.” (My. 165)
Further Study: Read of Peter’s thoughts in First Peter 3:13-17.
* * *
(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume Two: The Beatitudes”
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