The not-to-Beattitudes

Ever noticed how unlike the beattitudes most of today’s church really is?  Look them up for yourself in Matthew 5.  Jesus gives us a picture of humilty and vulnerability and humanity, something we desperately run from in the church.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit…” We think we have it all figured out, obey the rules, say the right words, and never let anyone see the real you.  Most of us would die rather than be poor in spirit.

“Blessed are those who mourn…” We have celebrations, worship bands, programs and parties.  Where is our mourning over a world headed for destruction?  Where is our mourning over a church full of sin, addictions, and broken families?

“Blessed are the meek…” We stand up for our rights as Christians, fight political battles and force our morality on those around us.  We look down our judgmental noses at sinners, not knowing that we ourselves are poor and blind and naked.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness…” We are a church full of people addicted…addicted to entertainment, materialism, sensuality and lust.  Most of us know who the 10 finalists on American Idol are, but don’t know the 10 commandments.

“Blessed are the merciful…” Do we really love our enemies?  Do we really love the unlovable?  Or do we think they are somehow getting what they deserve?  Why does it seem that Christians are often the first to go to war and the last to help the poor?

“Blessed are the pure in heart…” For most of us, our faith is full of ulterior motives…what I can get out of it.  How many of us follow Christ out of a pure heart of gratitude and a desire for His glory alone?

“Blessed are the peacemakers…” Again, it seems like most of us want to fight rather than make peace.  We fight politically, we fight for our rights, we fight for patriotism.  How often do we see the church moving in to be the peacemaker in conflict?  We usually choose sides.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake…” We are persecuted, not so much for our righteousness, but because we are obnoxious, self-seeking and proud.  We are persecuted for our hypocrisy.  The world can see we are not like Christ, why can’t we?

Can we get back to the simple truth of the gospel, a gospel that makes us like Jesus?  Can we get back to humility, to loving our enemies, to admitting our brokenness and receiving grace?  If so, there is yet hope for us to become the church Christ intended.

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