Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake:
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Question: What does it mean for us to “take up the cross” today?
Answer: Sadly, there are still parts of the world where people, including Christians, are
persecuted physically because of their religious beliefs. But, for the most part, this
modern-day “cross-bearing,” comes to the followers of Christ Jesus in the form of verbal
harassment and mental abuse:
“If you launch your bark upon the ever-agitated but healthful waters of truth, you will encounter storms. Your good will be evil spoken of. This is the cross. Take it up and bear it, for through it you
win and wear the crown.” (S&H 254)
“Your good will be evil spoken of.” Do you see that that is the type of cross we must endure
today? Mary Baker Eddy also says elsewhere:
“In our struggles with sin and sinners, when we drop compliance with their desires, insist on what
we know is right, and act accordingly, the disguised or the self-satisfied mind, not ready to be up-lifted, rebels, misconstrues our best motives, and calls them unkind. But this is the cross. Take it up, — it wins the crown; and in the spirit of our great Exemplar pray: ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’” (My. 180)
That last sentence is important. Jesus, our Exemplar, taught us to seek forgiveness for those who treat us badly, or persecute us, for our righteousness.
Practice: Give some thought today on how you might react to persecution. Are there some previous acts to forgive?
* * *
(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume Two: The Beatitudes”
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