I apologize for anyone following my Beatitude study. I thought I had published this and found it sitting in my wait box. The final beatitudes are Matthew 5:11&12
Blessed are you when men shall rival you and persecute you and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.”
“Rejoice and be exceedingly glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”
I find this verse interesting because it’s referring to competing against you in an unhealthy way using words and less physical actions.
The two words rival and persecute have a few different meanings none of which are good.
The last part of verse eleven sums it up though, “…and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.”
I believe these actions come from a place of jealousy and fear. Jealous of the inner peace God has given you. Jealous possibly of your success or perhaps your happiness. Jealous of your closeness to The Divine Creator. Fear that you’ve got IT figured out ( the meaning of life) and they are wrong because if they are wrong, eternity is a long time to suffer for it.
Because our rivals and persecutors are attacking us from a place of jealousy and fear we should do as Jesus commanded in Matthew 5:44. “But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you and pray for them which spitefully use you, and persecute you.” He says this because the suffering they are causing you here on earth is nothing in comparison to the suffering they will reap with eternal damnation. This is a suffering we should never want on any other human being, therefore, we should pray for them.
This is the type of empathy and love we should strive for as Christians and followers of Christ. For even while suffering the horrific death He did, Jesus still prayed for those who did it to Him in Luke 23:34 “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”