Thanksgiving is just on the horizon, so we are counting our many blessings and marking a variety of things to be thankful for. As you number those blessings, I want to remind you of one particular kindness from the Lord for which you should be grateful. That is God’s kindness of having people say all sorts of evil things about you falsely. Ah, you have been slandered. And the bigger the slander, the bigger your Thanksgiving turkey should be.
Jesus tells us that we should be exceedingly glad when this kind of thing happens for our reward is great in heaven, and we are following in the footsteps of the faithful prophets who went before us (Matthew 5:12).
This is a lesson that peace-loving, kind, and faithful Christians like yourselves must take to heart. In the first place, it is one thing to remember this truth when the sun is shining and no one is calling you a misogynistic rape apologist. And it is another thing to remember it when those slander-bullets are actually flying. So store up this truth in your heart so it will be there in the day of battle.
In the second place, you must store up this truth in your heart because you are a kind lot of Christians who, of course, don’t want to be brawlers. That is good. You want to pray for those who have done you the wrong, and that is good, too. But, in case you may be tempted to say, “I just can’t rejoice and be glad given these horrible things that have been said about me or my people,” let me remind you that God is so pleased about people saying nasty false things about you that He has seen fit to increase your heavenly bank account. If God is happy, you should be, too.
Do ensure that this kind of thing doesn’t turn into rejoicing when your enemy falls. You want to give thanks in such a way that God’s favor will continue to rest upon you. But give thanks you must. And that thanksgiving should be exceedingly glad.
Jared Longshore – November 19, 2023