The Beatitudes are an important part of my life and faith journey. As a child, if I am not mistaken, the first summer after we moved to Pensacola after my parents divorced, I went to VBS that was across the street from our house. We were offered the prize of a beautiful cross-stitched laminated bookmark to whoever memorized the Beatitudes. The tassel was purple. I memorized the Beatitudes that week and it remember being so proud of myself and that bookmark.
Oh how I wish I could find that bookmark or one similar.
Fast forward 18 years later and I walk in the doors of a church to find the Community Room where I would attend my first addiction support meeting. The first thing I had presented before me is a pamphlet that reads, “The Most Excellent Way”. On the inside of that pamphlet . . . Ten Attitudes of Victorious Living . . . based on . . . The Beatitudes. ❤️
There have been multiple times over the last 21 years the Lord has used the Beatitudes to usher me back into His bosom – offering me the words and direction I often need to sort through when I’ve struggled with something.
This morning was no exception.
A friends post on the Beatitudes this morning took me right back to Matthew 5:3-12;13-16.
The timing was Divine.
For months I’ve struggled with what the Lord wants me to write for my book – there are several no doubt but I am struggling with what goes where and how to’s along with what to share and what not to share. I’ve been discouraged and doubting – questioning if I should even REALLY write but through it all one thing has remained constant – every time I pray about it He takes me to The Beatitudes as my starting point.
So much of who I have become in Christ came through The Beatitudes.
Each week a meeting is held and the topic of the devotional is based on a scripture out of the Beatitudes.
Here’s how we study them:
The first five are what we called “The Emptying Beatitudes” where we learn to admit there is a problem that needs to be worked on, we repent of our sin, we surrender our lives to Jesus, we examine our lives and evaluate, and we learn about forgiveness – asking forgiveness from our past, forgiving those who have hurt us, and a doozie for many of us . . . learning to forgive ourselves.
Then we have the “Filling Beatitudes” where we learn about obedience, reconciliation, where we learn about faith and trusting Jesus more, and then there’s perseverance where we learn to persist and stand firm in this new lifestyle. Each step is pivotal in the faith walk and each one is hard on so many levels.
But then we come to the final Beatitude (which is actually called The Similitudes something similar building on the Beatitudes – we used it in the steps for victorious living) – The Loving Servant. This is where we, as addicts begin to bring forth fruit and we start showing signs of a changed life. One of the concepts the Lord showed me about Matthew 5:13 was that I am to be FLAVORED with Jesus – that everything I say and do should be so sprinkled with Jesus that each life I touch points to Him and that I should do that through the Beatitudes- by humility, repentance, being submissive, being honest, being merciful, being obedient, being reconciled, living out my faith, persisting through trials, and being a loving servant.
Here’s the kicker though – those steps of victorious living – they don’t just apply to addicts – they apply to every single one of us.
They apply to sinners.
We all sin.
My junk doesn’t look like your junk. Maybe you’ve never had a drink in your life but you sit in the church pew week after week and the second the service is over you are gossiping with sister Sue over the length of someone’s dress. Or maybe you are a glutton and spend too much time spending money you don’t have or gorging to find comfort – the list can go long – trust me. And toes can get stepped on – but I’ll leave that to the Lord’s conviction.
Regardless of your sin, the first step in dealing with it takes humility because you have to admit there’s a problem. You can’t jump to being a loving servant if you haven’t first confessed and admitted to yourself you have a problem.
There are a lot of things I wish I could redo in my life – lots of regrets, would’ve, could’ve, and should’ves, but one thing I will treasure forever in my heart is what I’ve learned and continue to learn through the Beatitudes and the Most Excellent Way Ministry.
If you are struggling today and need an addiction support group please feel free to message me. I will be happy to try and help you locate a support group in your area. And if I can pray for you in any way, whether you have an addiction or a loved one struggling, feel free to message me so I can pray with you.