Do you have a beautiful attitude (beatitude)?

My small group is reading a book together – The Good and Beautiful Life, by James Bryan Smith, a student of Dallas Willard. Chapter 3 talks about Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount commonly known as the Beatitudes. Many churches, pastors, teachers and Christians have misunderstood the intent of Christ’s teaching. Our study revealed some interesting paradoxical views, which point to the fact that Jesus’ message was not teaching us what to do or be in order that we be blessed. Rather, he is assuring those in that state that they are blessed – invited and welcomed into – the kingdom of God.

This translation in The Message says it beautifully. Be blessed as you read it.

1-2 When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:

“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.

“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.

“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.

“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.

10 “You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.

11-12 “Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.

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About verawrites

Progress not perfection - that's my goal. Live and learn - that's my motto. I like to share bits of wisdom and glimmers of insight gleaned on my life journey of 50+ years. My hope is to encourage, perhaps inspire, fellow journeyers. Each of us has something to share. Let's be generous, gracious and compassionate with one another. I am blessed to be a blessing... so are you!
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2 Responses to Do you have a beautiful attitude (beatitude)?

  1. bethbyrnes says:

    Vera, I love this post. If only everyone would follow His teachings, this strife would be gone. Thank you for this.

    • verawrites says:

      Thanks Beth. Sadly, too few Christ followers live what Jesus modelled and taught – that reflects poorly on them and on Him. I enjoy The Message paraphrase of the Bible; Eugene Patterson uses down-to-earth language that would be more in accessible to ordinary people of those times (good for us, too 🙂 For me, the main message of salvation is that God never gives up on us and is so very patient as we stumble along – gently lifting us up, brushing us off, saying, “try again, I’m right here with you!”

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