What's the Condition?
Updated: Dec 3, 2019
"5 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.
2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you."
You know church, I’m going to go ahead and be honest with you all. As much as I want to present this great writing about the “beatitudes” and how they’re so fruitful, the only “B”attitude I’ve had lately is a Bad Attitude. This all comes from the position and posture of my heart during this season of major uncertainty, feelings of anxiety, and complete lack of understanding and belief that I am who Jesus says I am. I have tried, with much failure, to produce these attitudes within myself so that I could be blessed by God. The thing is, I can’t grow any of these things on my own strength. My sinful heart is full of pride, full of denial of my hurts and hang ups. And I most definitely have not thirsted after righteousness as much as I have thirsted after the things of this world that claim to bring happiness- but are simply empty. In my vain attempt to sooth my own selfish desires, I’ve simply been more and more selfish in the process. I have squashed peace inside of myself and others because I have felt turmoil and frustration. Frustration over being in a waiting season for what seems like an eternity. Frustration over feeling like the things I do and the words I say never seem to measure up to the crazy high expectation others (and even I) set for me. I feel as if so many doors have been slammed shut in my face by God that I am starting to really doubt the direction my life is heading in. My heart’s condition is sick.
I have to continue in my honesty here and tell you all that my heart is sick because I am the one who placed unfair expectations on people in the first place. Those expectations have lead to a lot of hurt, a lot of confusion, and a lot of heartache. God calls us to love without expectations because He knows what it is for us to be trapped in this cycle of unmet expectations. He tells us here in the beatitudes that when we show mercy we receive it back. But my heart has withheld mercy because of these unmet expectations. I have withheld mercy from others and have felt it withheld from me in the process. I have blundered through these last few months like a bulldozer not truly caring who or what I take out in my way as long as I got my own way. How completely inconsiderate and uncaring I have been. I have justified my actions and that has lead to more hurt, especially within my own heart. My heart may be deceitful but because of the Holy Spirit inside of me and my reluctant surrender to that Spirit, I know that it is broken over the deceit.
So how do I get back to these beatitudes? How do I correct this posture of pride and once again fulfill these commissions God has placed in front of me? First of all, I have to recognize my heart’s condition, and fully surrender that to God. I have to ask God to forgive me for all of these bad attitudes and ask him to instead replace them with the beatitudes. But most importantly I have to be still and let God do the work for me. Nothing I do, or try to muster up in my own strength is going to be a sufficient way to change my hardened heart. I have to remember that it’s not my will, but God’s that I want to be fulfilling and living in. I have to remember that God is good, He is holy, He is over everything and nothing comes to us without going through His hands first. So even in this season, I have to know that God has put me here for my own good, and for His glory.
Do you find yourself in a season of reflecting the beatitudes in your heart, or a bad attitude?
If you are in a season of reflecting the beatitudes, what are some ways that you can share this goodness with others?
If you instead find yourself in the bad attitude category, who can you talk to this week about your heart’s condition? Who do you trust, and who can you get wise council from?
Father, we thank you for the beauty in authenticity. You ask us to openly confess our sins to one another and to live free from sin in that honesty. Lord, I pray for anyone who is experiencing a bad heart condition and I ask that you would heal the brokenness found in that. Lord, I praise you for those who are living out your commissions to live a life reflecting your attitudes toward others. I hope that they would be an encouragement and that they would lift others up so that they too could experience the blessings of a heart transformed by the Gospel. Thank you for all that you’re doing in our hearts every moment of every day, and thank you for the gift of freely communicating with you when we have no where else to turn. You are our great healer, our great comforter, and I pray that power over anyone who is experiencing a season of drought. In Jesus’ precious and holy name I pray, amen.