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The Beautitudes: A Spiritual State of Mind

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The Beautitudes

A Spiritual State of Mind

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Everyone probably has had at least one person say to them sometime in life, “Watch your attitude!” or “She’s in an attitude!” Usually this is referring to a bad, moody or snotty attitude. So what type of attitude should we be looking to have?

There is a section of Scripture that talks about attitude or a state of mind, sometimes called the Beatitudes. “Beatitudes” means the state of supreme blessings or perfect happiness. It describes a quality of character and lifestyle that we strive for. It’s an attitude that we should be emulating now, but we will have the ultimate fulfillment in the Kingdom. In a spiritual sense, to be blessed means to be happy or joyful or in a state of spiritual wellbeing and prosperity. How can we live the way of life that will lead to blessings and happiness? Let’s learn about what it means to be truly blessed.

The poor in spirit

Jesus’s first beatitude in His sermon is “blessed are the poor in spirit” (Matthew 5:3). Jesus meant that he who shows an attitude of humility, contentment, submission and gratitude will also trust and hope in God to rule in his life.

This is the opposite of much in society today. Pride, arrogance and superiority are promoted in today’s media. On the contrary, the person with a poor-in-spirit attitude behaves differently. The poor in spirit realizes that because of sin, his very life and eternal existence are in God’s hands. Without God’s mercy, he has no future. He must yield himself to God and have a humble attitude.

Those who mourn

The second beatitude is “blessed are those who mourn” (Matthew 5:4). A person who mourns is sad because she will not see a deceased loved one again in this life. Jesus wants us to have this type of attitude towards the way we live our lives. We are sad or mourning when we fail to live up to God’s expectations. We mourn because we have broken His laws and disobeyed Him.

God wants us to have the attitude that we are in constant need of forgiveness through His Son’s sacrifice upon repentance. We will find comfort when we acknowledge our shortcomings before God.

The meek

“Blessed are the meek” is the third beatitude (Matthew 5:5). A meek person is one who has a gentle and quiet spirit, but who can show strength when needed. Some call it strength under control. Trusting in God, he submits himself to Him, and waits patiently for Him to work things out in his life. He is eager to be instructed or admonished, and willingly submits to the will of God.

The reward of the meek person is to inherit the earth. That is where God’s Kingdom will be. We should all strive to be in God’s Kingdom. Developing meekness by learning now to be humble and gentle to others and willingly being submissive and obedient to the Lord is a good attitude to start increasing.

Those who hunger and thirst

Fourth is “blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness” (Matthew 5:6). Someone with this attitude pursues God and the knowledge of His way as a hungry person pursues food. She wants to live a life that is pleasing to God; a life that follows His commands. We need to physically eat several times a day. Spiritually, we need to be eating of God’s Word continually throughout the day to be satisfied and full.

The merciful

When we are seeking God’s righteousness and living His way of life, we will be merciful. That is the next beatitude: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Matthew 5:7). A merciful person forgives those who have hurt him, performs various acts of kindness and has an intense desire to spread the gospel.

How can you show mercy? Mercy is shown by not being overly critical, not holding grudges, helping those in need and being a good example of God’s way of life. Showing others that you are cheerful, tender-hearted and compassionate spreads the gospel by showing that God’s way of life is good and rewarding. Each time you show mercy towards someone, more mercy will be shown to you.

The pure in heart

The person who is merciful is headed toward the next beatitude: “Blessed are the pure in heart” (Matthew 5:8). She acts and lives her life in the way that God desires her to live. Her good, positive and pure actions are backed up by good, positive and pure inner thoughts and motives.

Purity of heart is internalizing God’s way of life and expressing that in your thoughts and actions. When godly virtues become part of your inner thinking, and are expressed in outward actions, you are living and acting like God and Jesus Christ.

The peacemakers

As we begin to put on God’s attitude, we begin to have a new perspective or viewpoint that reflects God’s nature of peace: “Blessed are the peacemakers” (Matthew 5:9). A peacemaker shows attitudes of cooperation, will not be easily offended and will want to help keep situations calm. He will want to do this in his family, in school, in work and in church. He will not be found backbiting, gossiping, slandering or ridiculing, because these actions do not promote peace.

The persecuted

As we continue to put on the beatitudes, we begin to look more like a child of God, and less like a child of the world. Those in the world may not like this, which can bring on persecution. But the next beatitude says, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake” (Matthew 5:10). Christians have been hated, pursued and have suffered for no other reason than that they are living righteous lives. She who knows God suffers willingly because she knows her future is the Kingdom of God, which is so much more valuable than anything on this earth.

Persecution can go beyond hatred to outright harassment, being picked on, oppressed, poorly treated and lied about. In these situations, follow the example of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ lived perfectly, although He was persecuted. When they reviled Him, He did not speak back. He let God judge those people (1 Peter 2:23).

Rejoice and be glad

Jesus finishes His sermon by saying, “Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven” (Matthew 5:12). He who develops this beatitude determines to have the Kingdom of God as his ultimate goal. He constantly keeps this in the forefront of his mind. Nothing that he suffers in this world, or is deprived of in this life, can compare to the reward, the blessings and the happiness that he will receive when Christ returns.

Jesus focuses us on the future. Always look to God to guide your life. God knows what is best. If you follow His instruction book—the Bible—you can live a blessed life. The beatitudes help us be happy, be content, be merciful, and most of all, be in God’s Kingdom.