"The Last One is the Bad One": True Celebrities VII

Photo by Mashael (copyrighted)
Chapter 27 was the hardest chapter for Temisan to read. It was the last chapter; the one that produced an unexpected culmination of her emotions. In the earlier chapters, the people loved him- the great Farook Kasir, leader of the northern clan. Still, in the last chapter his own people dismantled his leadership.

"Was he not the one who said he will bring the people back together?" Axx inquired of the people. "Yes," the members of the clan shouted back in agreement, waving their hands to the sky in obvious outrage. "Was he not the one who said he will provide peace and not war? Who else assured us that our children will see a day of prosperity again? Who assured us that the gods had forgiven us?" There was silence in the air. Farook was bound with an unbreakable three-fold cord and tied around the big tree in the town square. Some looked at him with sadness, and others with scorn. Two days ago they had looked up to him as their king, but now they looked down on him spitefully. From this day it would be written in the books of history, that the people of Osiko burned their leader alive.

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Today's celebrities are the last ones on the list: people whom you may not want to be: "Those who are persecuted for righteousness."

"Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for my name's sake. Rejoice & be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven." Matthew 5:10-12

Is the Last One the Bad One?

The last one is NOT the bad one. In Matthew 5, Jesus finished his speech (which is now a popular speech) by talking about the blessings of those who will be persecuted. Shouldn't he have ended his speech on a good note? Well, he did. Oh yes, he did. Let's check this out...

The Origins:

The Greek origin of the word "persecute" is diôkô (dioko), which means "to pursue," "to chase," "to urge on," or "to drive." It has so many turns and twists in this definition, but I can sum it up in one word, "to haunt." The Greek origin of the word "righteousness" is from dikaiosunê (dikaiosyne), which means "righteousness," "justice," "fulfillment of the law," and "the business of a judge." 

The Great Haunt:

At the end of your life, what would your worth be? These celebrities are a challenge to make your life count (that's the good part). If you don't count for anything you will not be haunted. You will not be pursued, chased, urged on, or driven. These terms all consist of both loving and hating. When we think of the word "persecute," we often associate it with a negative connotation. But if you think of the celebrities of our day, you either love them or hate them. In the same way, the word "diôkô" (persecute) suggests that you will either love those who promote God's words, justice, and the fulfillment of the law; or you will hate them. Sometimes, the hate becomes a fiery passion to consume them with fire, which is how some martyrs for Christ died. But their lives counted for something far more worthy: the kingdom of heaven.

I'll leave you with a quote from Gary Beck's blog:

Christ is saying something more here about people who try to perfect themselves. He is saying people are fortunate when people follow them in their quest for perfection. Some will merely observe what they are doing. Others will criticize it. And some others will emulate it. They are free to choose how they react. We shouldn't be surprised at any of these reactions.

The Great Step:

Photo by Cyril

To be pursued, chased, urged on, or driven...in fact, to be persecuted, your life must count for something bigger than yourself. It is not something to shy away from. It takes boldness, courage, and tenacity to chase after something you're passionate about...like God and His faithfulness.

And it takes an even bolder step to tell about what you've found, because after you've done so, you WILL be persecuted. And they will say all sorts of things about you; But not to fear, even greater things await you. Question for the Day: What should your life count for? Would you choose persecution over mediocrity? I'd love to read your comments.

21 comments:

NBB said...

Great post as usual.
Having an answer to the question "At the end of your life, what would your worth be? " is the key to living a purpose driven life.
I'll chose persecution over mediocrity. I know its not as easy as it sounds. but the end in-view is the most important thing!

LE DYNAMIQUE PROFESSEUR said...

"If you don't count for anything [for something bigger than yourself], you will not be haunted"

Wow! In other words, persecution doesnt come to those worth nothing - those who are not a threat to any cause. So, when we are persecuted, we should rejoice cos it shows we are worth something bigger than our lives.

No wonder the apostles rejoice in persecution. They get beaten, thrown in jail, yet they rise up the next morning and are already preaching on the streets. I see this in another perspective. You've given me something to write on soon :)

And yeah, I've learned alot from this. Thanks JAY!

lani said...

wow.. are you half Greek? the way U dissect it, u should have your own altar to preach on (guess this is one)
YES.. I'll choose persecution over mediocrity anytime (not an easy task)...but I'll keep praying for boldness, courage and tenacity...

Great post

Favor's Heart said...

Persecution...Hmmm. I've never looked at it in that light before. But then the True Celebrities Series has been on mighty eye opener for me.

Reading this post has made me ask myself what my life really counts for. If people decided to pursue and haunt me would I surrender or would it drive me on?

This is the conclusion of the mattter : " If you don't count for anything you will not be haunted. You will not be pursued, chased, urged on, or driven."

Lord, teach me how to make my life count for you...for righteousness...until i attain perfection.

God strengthen your heart, Jaycee!

daylight said...

What one's life counts for is a question that we can't ignore. It would be shame to gain all of the world and not have made a godly difference in the lives of other.
Great post. Gets one thinking.

NakedSha said...

Jaycee, bless you oh. That's all I really can say.

Naijalines said...

What one's life counts for is the purpose of life itself. I've always believed it is our duty irrespective of faith, to find out what this this. And yes it's got to be bigger than one's self.

I really hope this post inspires someone who is thinking about walking down the wrong path, to remain on the right one.

It's a great post, Jaycee.

Jaycee said...

@NBB...very true abt the key to a "purpose-driven life." It's not easy, but I can boldly say it's the right choice.

@LDP...seriously, I've always wondered what drove those guys. Their drive was intense.

@Lani...lol @ half-Greek. As much as I long to visit all the Greek islands, I have not one drop of Greek blood. I'll keep praying the same as well, because it's truly not easy. And not to forget that immediately we make such a heavy proclamation there WILL be trials.

@Favors heart..."would I surrender or would it drive me on?" That's a deep soul-searching question.

@Daylight..."It would be shame to gain all of the world and not have made a godly difference in the lives of other." I agree.

@NakedSha...God bless u too *grin*

@Naijalines...thank you, I really hope so too. It's probably one of the most important decisions we will ever make.

BBB said...

Jaycee
i want to thank you for this celebrities post
i have learnt so much from them
i would def choose persecution over mediocrity
that been said when faced with real life issues we tend to take the easy way out
we can only pray to God for the courage to stand firm in adversity, to defend our beliefs
and be ready to be persecuted for them

Fragilelooks said...

thanks for sharing jaycee.

Mwajim Al said...

"To be pursued, chased, urged on, or driven...in fact, to be persecuted, your life must count for something bigger than yourself. It is not something to shy away from. It takes boldness, courage, and tenacity to chase after something you're passionate about...like God and His faithfulness."
Guess what? I suddenly realized why we are all chasers in this life be it after money, dreams, a job, a love... because we want our life to count for something. I want my life to count for the divine purpose God created me for - it takes tenacity as you said, God grant me, and all of us as well that tenacity!
Did I say thanks again for such a beautiful perspective of the beatitudes? You just made me love this passage so much more!
God bless!

Rainyjoy said...

yes, Jaycee, i have chosen persecution over mediocrity. what you said here really got to me, i quote 'It takes boldness, courage, and tenacity to chase after something you're passionate about...like God and His faithfulness' .
The truth is that people will talk about you if the see that there is something different about your life; for me, its my passion for the gospel and love for God that drive people nuts, lol !
But i'll keep chasing after Him no matter what they say.. yipeee. Jesus rocks !!!
thanks 4 d post

Jaycee said...

@BBB...I'm so happy to know that all of us, myself included, have been able to grasp one, two, or more things from the series. Blows my mind!

@Fragilelooks...what's up? Thanks for stopping by :)

@Mwajim AL...ha ha ha. Me too, I love it even more now...especially the original Greek descriptions.

@Rainy Joy...well, keep driving them nuts (in a good way of course, lol). It was so lovely to have you reading the series because you obviously added value to it. Thanks.

Vera Ezimora said...

Jaycee,

You never stop inspiring us (me). I love this.

Kafo said...

i don't think most ask this question
Mediocrity or Persecution

for me it's more of surrender
I choose to surrender on most days and on others i block out His voice and go my own way

to choose persecution is dangerous, one might agrue that the Islamic fundamentalist choose persecution, choose pain, choose to be martyr and .....

so yeah
i choose surrender and if that brings persecution, obscurity, pain and maybe joy, i guess such is life

Jaycee said...

@Vera...thanks so much.

@Kafo...LOL. You know what? I like your perspective a WHOLE lot. That brings in a whole new mind-set. I actually think it is not realy about "choosing" persecution, but it is more about being open to "haunting" as opposed to remaining on a basic level where our lives count for nothing bigger than ourselves. Hmmm...but I see where u're coming from with regards to radical groups/organizations.

2cute4u said...

Wonderful,inspiring and thought provoking.
Jaycee,your words,posts, combination is so personal;it talks to me every time I'm here with each new post, I just know I'd leave feeling better than I came.
God bless you and continue to use you in the best way ever.

Myne Whitman said...

I haven't commented every time but I read the whole series and I can only say, thank you Jaycee and may God bless you. I've really learnt a lot from the posts.

Harry-Rami Itie said...

Hmmnn

Persecution or Mediocrity??

This is powerful Jaycee... You have no idea what this article means to me...

Thank you...

Check out The Eden Project... I hope you comment on the post there

K said...

I should hope I choose persecution! Really the question comes down to to choosing between what I (and all my other brothers and sisters in Christ) know to be life and death. And choosing cheap popularity over the truths of Christ's kingdom, though it might be easier, is in essence denying Christ himself. So I declare that by the grace of God and only by that grace, I would choose persecution.

Jaycee said...

@2Cute4u...Amen, and I pray the same for you as well. Thank you.

@Myne...I'm glad you participated, I pray that God will order our steps that we practice everything we've learned so far.

@Harry...wow. I will.

@K...thanks for telling us what it boils down too. I choose life in Christ and death to my flesh. I'm remembering what Jesus said about whoever will choose to follow Him, that we must pick up our crosses daily. That's like following Him 100% with no regrets. Hmm...really deep!