In some recent conversations with a friend of mine, as we were planning out some teaching time together, we landed on something we thought could be helpful for the church community. We were talking through the rhythm and progression of the beatitudes and the danger of treating them as commands. The beatitudes are a slice of Jesus' sermon on the mount, and they essentially have Jesus announcing how the kingdom of God unfolds. My friend, with such great insight, pointed out that the closest thing to a command, within the beatitudes, would be Jesus inviting his listeners to be honest. It's not a command, but an invitation to be honest.
Just be honest about where you are.
The beatitudes are not something to accomplish, they are not a to do list to check off. This is an invitation to recognize where you are in life, and then humbly give it over to God, so that He can do for you what you cannot do for yourself. You can find a very similar phrase in the addiction recovery community. Interesting isn't it? Are we addicted to our ways? Are we addicted to our pride and are own strength pulling us through life?
So why do we have such a hard time being honest?
I have some thoughts, but I'd rather hear yours.
What keeps you from being honest?