Have you ever said to yourself, “today I’m gonna act different? Today I’m gonna practice being nice. Today I’m gonna look someone in the eye, smile, wink and say, make it a good day!” Have you ever entertained a notion like this? You know, decided to not be so self absorbed? Well I had a thought like this earlier this morning.
I’ve listened to teaching and preaching on the “Beatitudes” listed in Matthew 5 of the Bible. I’ve come away with the impression that Jesus spoke about different groups of people in these verses. I agree with that, but I had another thought, what if these are the characteristics Jesus felt ought to be present in every person—each one of us—maybe even me?
I’m not talking right now about possibility; I’m saying something regarding Jesus’ expectation for his followers. Read the words: 3 “God blesses those who realize their need for him … 4 God blesses those who mourn… 5 God blesses those who are gentle and lowly… 6 God blesses those who are hungry and thirsty for justice… 7 God blesses those who are merciful… 8 God blesses those whose hearts are pure … 9 God blesses those who work for peace, 10 God blesses those who are persecuted because they live for God … 11 God blesses you when you are mocked and persecuted and lied about because you are my followers.
What if all of these behaviors were acting actively in and through me? I realize my need for God. I have mourned. I need to get better at being gentle and lowly. I am hungry and thirsty for justice. I really do desire to conduct myself with mercy. I hope there’s a chance my heart might become pure. I work for peace. I don’t know much about being persecuted but I am trying to live for God.
How different is my day if I act as if these characteristics are me? Well I’m not brainless; I can see that everything changes. Now, I’m required to focus and do something like what Jesus talked about on that hillside in Matthew 5. Wow!
Okay, so today, maybe, I’ll risk doing one act of kindness. Maybe tomorrow I’ll be merciful. Maybe next week I’ll work for peace. This month I’ll work up to being gentle and lowly. Can I do it? Well, why shouldn’t I try?