A meditation on a set of attitudes displayed in life by followers of Jesus Christ - which turn worldly attitudes on their heads. (Quotes from Matthew 5 in The Message translation.)

The poor in spirit
“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope.
With less of you there is more of God and his rule”
It’s time for an end to self-sufficiency. We are built to relate to God and be in community with one another. This is what living in the Kingdom of God is about. The reign of Jesus and life as his community.
I consider myself nothing apart from what I am in Christ, which is everything.

The mourners (or “losers”)
“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you.
Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.”
Not just those bereaved of loved ones, but those who have experienced loss of hope, of identity, of integrity, loss of any kind. Comfort is to find identity in Christ.
I found everything I clung to is worthless; I find everything I can cling to is in Christ.

The humble
(“the meek”)
“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less.
That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.”
Meek is not weak. Humble is not “taking a back seat”. It is those who are quietly confident in God. Knowing they belong to Father God and finding a place of rest in that secure relationship.
I will never seek to be something I am not because my total worth is in Christ.

The hungry (and “those who thirst”)
“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God.
He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat”.
An attitude that both expresses right and fair behaviour and makes a clear stand for justice & fairness in society. A belief that “we have the mind of Christ”. A genuine concern for the downtrodden.
I want to be hungry and thirsty for God’s Word because LIFE is fed by more than bread.

The merciful
“You’re blessed when you care.
At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.”
Really a “do as you would be done by” attitude. If I believe I am forgiven by God, I have an obligation to forgive others. And failure to forgive means I have not understood my own forgiveness.
I have been shown amazing mercy and forgiveness so I will be a forgiver and not judgemental.

The pure in heart
“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right.
Then you can see God in the outside world”
Above all guard your heart (Proverbs 4:23). If my inner life is put right with God (on a day-by-day basis) then my eyes will be open to see God in action in this world.
I will guard my heart, control my thoughts, so as to never miss what God is doing in this world.

The peacemakers
“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight.
That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.”
Peace-making and reconciliation are near to God’s heart (2 Corinthians 5). Those who claim to be followers of Jesus will always seek peace in conflict.
I will aim to speak peace and to bring reconciliation wherever I can because I AM a child of God.

The persecuted
“You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution.
The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom”.
How often do I think of suffering persecution as a gift? Think of James’s encouragement that trials be viewed as “pure joy”. However, it is persecution “for doing right”; if I’m persecuted for wrongdoing, that’s of no value!

I know I will see trouble and persecution so I will look on it as the means to know Christ better.
The mocked, the lied about, those affected by evil rumours – because of Jesus.
“Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me.

What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable.
You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even! —for though they don’t like it, I do!

And all heaven applauds.

And know that you are in good company.

My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.”
What a challenge! In a day when many criticise, Jesus says “I told you so”!
I will look for blessing in pain and cheer in discomfort, for this gives me a part with my Saviour.

Tim Coad