“Blessed are you when others 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, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matt 5:11-13)
It is not always easy to be Christian in the Military. Jesus says that people will attack us because we are righteous. They will insult us and make false claims against us just because we are Christians trying to follow Jesus and uphold Biblical values and morality. When that mistreatment happens, Jesus says to rejoice and be glad, because our Heavenly Father adores us, and has a great reward in store.
There is a way, though, to avoid having to face such persecution! Aristotle wrote, “Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” Jesus expects more from us than that.
The story goes that a Christian young man got a summer job as a lumberjack in another part of his State. His father was afraid for his teenage son, though. He knew that lumberjacks were a rough godless bunch, and they might pick on his son. So every day that summer the father prayed for his son.
When the son returned at the end of summer, he was tanned and strong and smiling. The father expectantly asked him, “Son, did you have any problems with the other lumberjacks because you are a Christian?”
“Naw, no problems at all,” the son replied. “They never found out.”
Contrary to what that young man thought, God’s Army does not have a Secret Service. Each of us needs to boldly take our position on the front lines of faith. Jesus promises a heavenly Medal of Honor for those who stand firm in their faith even in the face of opposition. Will you be one of them?
My Lord, help me today to bend only to your will, and not to the criticisms of others. Amen.
CH (COL-ret), USA