by Rick Warren — November 23, 2022
From Building a Better Future
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven.”
Matthew 5:11-12 (NIV)
When people criticize you for living a life that is pleasing to God, remember: You have a great reward waiting for you in heaven.
The Bible says, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven” (Matthew 5:11-12 NIV).
Focusing on eternity is the antidote to insult and ridicule. Why? Because the opinions of others won’t last. Their disapproval won’t last. Yes, you can listen to their opinions, but don’t overvalue what they say.
The only thing that will last is God’s church. Only God’s family will be in heaven forever. That’s why you don’t want to waste your life worrying about what people say about you. Instead, God wants you to spend your days doing the things that please him—using the gifts, talents, and abilities he’s given you to worship him and make an eternal difference with your life.
If God likes what you’re doing, then you know you’re doing the right thing. Imagine how simplified your life would be if you lived for an audience of One!
But so often you care too much about what people think, and you put yourself at the mercy of their judgments. If someone thinks you’re a loser, then you must be a loser. If someone thinks you’re odd, then you must be odd. I don’t want to live that way—do you?
The truth is, you won’t be in heaven one minute when you’ll say, “Why did I worry so much about what other people thought about me?”
As the apostle Paul said, “What I want is God’s approval! Am I trying to be popular with people? If I were still trying to do so, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10 GNT).
Today, instead of living for the approval of people, live for the joy of heaven. And know that your reward in heaven will be great when your only concern on Earth is to please God.