Weekly Update – 19th November

Attitudes to the Beatitudes

How many of us over the years have been to a job interview? We navigate the advert, ticking off our skills, experience and competencies that hopefully make us suitable for the role. We then invest ourselves into the application process hoping that we will be the best person for the job. Finally, we perform in an interview, answering questions and presenting an impression in the hope that we are what they are looking for.

I’ve been looking at Jesus sermon on the mount recently. It’s also called “The Beatitudes”, and as I thought it through this past week, the passage  could be a job description or a role requirement, and that God (the Managing Director in the business of eternity), is telling us what He looks for in a faithful, imperfect but very much-loved follower. If faithful living of our lives was a role description, I reckon the beatitudes fit?

But let’s take a closer look.

The Beatitudes or the sermon on the mount can be found in Matthew’s gospel, chapter 5. The name the Beatitudes is derived from the Latin “beatitude” or “beatus” which mean happy or blessed and Jesus starts each part of his sermon with, “you are happy and blessed.” We like the sound of both of those but when you read the passage, you could be forgiven for thinking that’s it a tough one to be happy and blessed about some of the things in the passage. For example, vs 4 says “blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted” or verse 11 says “blessed are those who are persecuted” or verse 6 “blessed are you who hunger and thirst for righteousness”. You can almost hear yourself saying to the Lord, “I don’t like the sound of these things so how can I feel blessed when it’s difficult or tough?”

However, try looking at them in another way. If you break the word beatitudes into its two component parts, you have two separate words, “be and “attitude” and here’s the role requirement.

Jesus is saying we don’t need to be perfect, not yet at least, but think about your attitude to how you need to be. We need to have the right “attitude” so we can “be” the very best version of the person Jesus asks us to be.

This passage is about our attitude to loving and serving God in our everyday lives. The quality of attitude that ultimately makes us better Christians, mercy, peace, purity, the promise we have of eternity with Jesus but also how does he want us to feel about the tough things like mourning the loss of a loved one, needing to show mercy to somebody who’s hurt you or working at having that purity in our hearts and lives that we strive to attain? What are we showing the world as to who we are and do we reflect Jesus in our behaviour, how we conduct ourselves no matter how difficult our circumstances might be?

What is your attitude to your faith life? Pause a moment and reflect?

Let your reflection shape how you need to be.

We have a wonderful hope and a future, see Jeremiah 29 verse 11. Do we lose our joy because we stop looking at Jesus. Is it easier to be grumpy and negative? Yes, if you take your eyes off of Jesus and forget who He is and what he has done for us.

Be that person of happiness and joy! Actively practise thinking about just how blessed you are. Pray this week that your life is lived feeling blessed and seeing God in places you hadn’t thought he’d be.

Have a blessful week.