Okay, so my title for this action item is a little cheesy. A lot cheesy. But it’s been stuck in my head this whole month, so perhaps it’s working. The beatitudes (which are found in Matthew 5:1-12) seem to be some of the verses that many Christians like to sort of gloss over. We like to think they are some of our favorite verses, but when it really comes down to it — do we believe them?
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Blessed are the poor in spirit? Blessed are those who mourn (I have several friends who are mourning horrible losses this week — I’m sure they do not feel blessed in their suffering)? Blessed are the persecuted?
I’ve been rolling the Beatitudes around in my head this month, in an effort to understand their connection to generosity. The connection may be a little loose at first, but go with me here. When I understand what God values and what He blesses, I feel my heart opening and generosity flows naturally toward these things.
Right now, I couldn’t see it more clearly. I have a particular friend who is grieving the loss of a close family member, who was far too young to die. Yet I have seen her friends generously reach out and hold her, being God’s arms and to offer comfort in her sadness. Tonight I watched as His hands came down from heaven and blessed her with love, laughter, and peace, even in her deepest heartache. Does she still grieve? Of course. But she is deeply loved, and I believe comforted as Jesus promises.
The Beatitudes tell us that there is ample room in God’s economy for generosity. For giving a helping hand to the poor in spirit. For offering living water those who thirst for righteousness. For comforting those who are so sad it threatens to overwhelm them. God often provides blessings using believers. I want to make sure my heart is in the right place to be a blessing to people who Jesus calls blessed.