When I was a kid, I had to memorize the beatitudes. It was part of requirements to earn badges for a scout-type group at our church called the Royal Rangers. I was a lot more interested in the camping and outdoor activities than I was the bible learning part of it. But I made myself learn those scriptures along with others that were a part of the curriculum.
I learned them from the King James Version and didn’t really understand them. I kind of got what each one meant but the whole picture eluded my comprehension that was focused primarily on going fishing again.
Matthew 5:3 “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. 4 God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5 God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth. 6 God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice,
for they will be satisfied. 7 God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8 God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God. 9 God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God. 10 God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
I used to pick out which ones I thought I could do. As I got older, I realized that I can’t really do any of these things. I kind of skipped over the first one. It never really hit me until I got into Celebrate Recovery. I had never really, really realized just how spiritually poor I was and that the only possible way to fill that void was God.
Once that realization smacked me up-side the head, I realized the mourning Jesus was speaking about. I had neglected God and his role in my life and there seemed to be so much time wasted. I was not the same arrogant jerk anymore. Oh, I was still an arrogant jerk, just not the same one. God’s work in my life wasn’t an overnight transformation. It is an ongoing process, a process that follow the path of these verses.
I’ve experienced my need, mourning, humility, shown mercy, purity, peace and persecution. God has been faithful to bestow his promises without fail just like Jesus said he would. I’ve got a long way to go on this road of renewal and restoration but I am blessed all along the way. I’ve made beatitudes mean beautiful attitude in my mind because this process guarantees blessing in the middle of chaos, trials or whatever craziness invades my life. My attitude toward everything changes.
When I don’t know what to do next, I can read these verses and see a million possibilities that God would smile upon. Life is so much more when I live it by God’s instructions.