Beatitudes: attitudes that ought to be

Photo: a humble attitude – goal scorer David Luiz points away from himself to where his success comes from.

The Beatitudes (Mt 5.1-12) – are attitudes that ought to be. That is, attitudes that are to be in your life if you want to be blessed. Nearly all the attitudes Jesus lists there have something to do with humility. For example ”the poor in spirit” are those who feel small, and “those who mourn” are those who are down because they have lost out, and ”the meek” are those who do not impose themselves. These are humble attitudes. In fact we could summarize the Beatitudes by saying: “Blessed are the humble.”

An attitude can be defined as the way we think or feel about something or someone. They can be good or bad, but they are always powerful because they steer us.
Our attitudes are formed by the way we respond to the circumstances of life. How often we find that two people have responded differently under the same circumstances: e.g. prison; one negatively, another positively. We can either cement or dissolve our hurt. We can bind or set our hearts free. Our language and our habits will cement the good or the bad. So we Christians are to guard our hearts; ban the offense and cultivate forgiveness. It’s critical to our health and our witness.

Christ taught humility and practiced it. He was God but made himself nothing (Phil 2.3-13). This gave him a strength that religious leaders did not understand. He could take criticism without being offended. The humble cannot be offended. Criticism may be in the air, but the humble are immune. It’s the proud who get sick, they are offended because they think they’re something. So often we think its the offender who sins, but the offender is often innocent. But the offended are never innocent because offense requires pride. Jesus offended many people, but was never offended himself.

Humility comes by exposing our hearts to God in prayer and by practicing new habits – habits like: not boasting when the opportunity arises, and being open about our weaknesses where possible.

Just as ‘’pride comes before a fall’’ so humility comes before a promotion. The Lord knows he can trust the humble with power. After making himself nothing, Jesus was exalted to the highest place. He taught: the last shall be first; and the greatest is the servant of all. We serve a humble King.

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