Matthew 5:1-10 One day as he saw the crowds gathering, Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down. His disciples gathered around him, and he began to teach them. “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted. God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth. God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied. God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy. God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God. God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God. God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.”
It’s Thanksgiving week ~~ which means it’s a “compressed week.” For those of us with jobs outside of the home, that means possibly fewer days at work, but unusually more things to accomplish. Grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning ~~ people dynamics to wade through. Crazy drivers and insane shoppers. All in the name of thankfulness.
When I read the Scripture passage above, I’m reminded of my attitude amidst all this hurriedness and busyness. The temptation is so great ~~ to shout back to the one who cuts me off in traffic ~~ to gesture like a wild woman at the one who stole the parking space I was patiently waiting for ~~ to contend with the grocer who tells me they don’t know if a shelf item will be in stock when I return tomorrow ~~ to retaliate at the one who cut in front of me at the gas station. Lord, it’s oh so easy!
And somehow, I hope this doesn’t sound sacrilegious, I wish that Jesus had included a few more “blessings” in His Beatitude lesson on the Mount:
God blesses those who keep their mouth shut when ugly thoughts are running rampant through their mind.
God blesses those who sit on their hands when they’d really want to throw a punch at the one who just verbally insulted them.
God blesses those who, when she looks into the mirror at her physical scars, still rejoice through her tears that He has spared her life.
God blesses those who can wake up every morning ready to share some love with the ‘unlovable people.’
And then GOD whispers: Be of this attitude.
You see, Girlfriend, when Jesus was delivering His Lesson on the Mount, He was delivering hope. As I see the individual instances and posturings He specifies, He was telling us that each one of these will receive their blessing ~~ but it may not come in their lifetime on earth. And yet, if they do, if we do, experience the blessings He promises during theirs and our earthly Journey, it is on His Time. But one thing is for certain, He will deliver.
It’s hard to have a gracious attitude under difficult circumstances ~~ I wrestle with this daily ~~ moment by moment I must make the conscious effort to be Christ-like. And while my ‘practice’ over the years is making it better and less difficult (notice the absence of the four-letter word: easy), I’m still at the ‘imperfect’ level.
Attitudes begin in the mind ~~ we have the ability to choose a better way to think. Then our heart will follow suit to whatever we set our mind. Our mouth will complete the package, and hopefully tie everything up in love.
The Beatitudes (The Beautiful Attitudes) cannot be lived out without sincere love.
Love has a marvelous way of filling our heart with thankfulness.
Thankfulness has a transforming effect that results in joy.
So if I have a beautiful attitude, possessing the attributes of Christ, I will likely be a more loving, thankful, and joyful person.
Thinking on these things in this manner changes my behavior towards a not-so-gracious world, but will leave behind a legacy of a Jesus Follower with a Beautiful Attitude.
I love you to Heaven and Back, Girlfriend ~~