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The guest post for today came from a story that I read on Facebook. The story touched my heart, encouraged me and reminded me of how sweet, and how rare stories of integrity are in the media of today.

This is the story of a race, where the one who wins does so because another was willing to give up their rightful place, for the success of the one who was coming up short (hum, this might even have a parallel to the redemption of humanity through the Savior … oh, how I love a story where the theme is redemption! But, I digress 😉 ).

IVAN+12_redimensionarMeet, Ivan Fernandex Anaya, a Spanish runner, who might just be the best athlete to encourage your children to follow. I will not give his story away, just click on his name and enjoy a real, authentic feel-good story.

This is also a story of the power of social media over traditional media. Traditional media has done little to share this good news story, and we need to remember, as discerning individuals, that the traditional media has it’s own goals, it’s own worldview, it’s own agenda. Thankfully, through social media, we, the people, have the opportunity to share the stories that we believe need to be shared. I think this is a good reminder that not all that is new is bad.

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I love how social networking has become a source of world news, kind of like how Youtube has become a venue for talented people to be discovered. When I see that someone I know has posted a video, or news story, or pictures, or announcement, I know that it is often worth investigating (depending on which friend has posted it). Social networking of news and entertainment provides for me what is consumer driven, and not media driven, and I think that makes sense.

Another social networking ‘share’ has gone viral. I read it, and I agreed with it … sort of.

I agreed that the ‘share’ was one that told a story of a lacking in integrity within the field of media. I also agreed that it would seem to be an incidence of persecution for beliefs that might be closely tied to Christian moral principles. Still, there was something about the story that just didn’t sit right for me, that is until I was reading a Bible passage the other day. As I read Matthew 5:11-12 I knew why it was not sitting well with me. This scripture 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,
for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

When I read that passage, I understood partially why I was not able to read the article and say fully, I agree with this.

When Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River by his cousin John, that was his public statement to the world that his ministry had begun. Shortly after that he (the Son of God) was tempted by the devil, not once, not twice, but three times. The remainder of his earthly ministry was littered with persecution, to the point of death.

So my question, have we, as Christians, forgotten this reality? Have we grabbed on to the name of Christ in order to save us here in this lifetime, here on Earth? Do we think that we are to have it better than the Son of God? Has it been erased from our minds that insults, persecution, lies and other ‘evils’ are part and parcel of this life we live called Christianity?

Don’t get me wrong, I do not believe that we should lay back and just let injustice happen to ourselves or to others. I believe that as long as we have breath we need to help those in need. I believe that if the law has been broken resulting in a violation to ourselves or to someone else, we need to seek justice (Isaiah 1:17 : Seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow).

But, I also know that we are to expect these things to happen to us, because we are following one who was insulted, persecuted, lied about, to the point of death.

And great is our reward, not on Earth, but in heaven … where we will continue to be in good company.

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