Friday, September 28, 2007

Beatitudes and Friday Photo

Sometimes I don't enjoy being a Sunday School teacher. The past couple of weeks has been one of those "sometimes."

Things at work have been a struggle lately; there are so many personality conflicts, people jockeying for position, too much "sucking up" (I don't like that term, but it's the only one I can think of at the moment) to the boss(es), back stabbing, gossip, anger, distrust, manipulation, deception, and downright meanness ...whew!... that it's been an effort some days to make myself show up. And sad to say, I'm not just talking about the people I work with-- in some cases I'm talking about myself!

Now, what does my work situation have to do with Sunday School and/or being a teacher. Well, we've been working our way through the Beatitudes portion of the Sermon on the Mount and frankly, I just feel so, so...unworthy, cruddy, [fill in frustrated mental/emotional state here], especially when I come to:

Blessed are the meek (gentle), for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

That's a TOUGH list--particularly of late. Take a look at it. Meekness. A hunger and thirst for God (righteousness). Pure in heart. Peacemaker. It's near impossible--no, it IS impossible to be those things when you're gritchin' and gripin' all the time or joining in on the lastest round of "man, I can't stand THAT guy," or...well, you get the picture. All of those attributes are/should be visible in the lives of people that belong to the Kingdom and it's hard to teach that when you're not doing it yourself!

Ah, but there's light at the end (actually the beginning) of the tunnel. Take a look at verses 3 and 4 of Matthew 5, the first two Beatitudes:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
The Beatitudes build on each other and it all starts with recognizing just how "poor in spirit" we are. We don't deserve ANYTHING other than death, but God shows us mercy. Recognizing our depraved spiritual condition and then mouring or confessing our sin are the first steps toward becoming gentle, merciful, hungering and thirsting seekers of God's righteousness, who are pure in their hearts (motives), always seeking to live in peace with others...because we have been saved by THE Prince of Peace.

I look at my own life and realize just how filthy (Isaiah 64:6) I am and I'm driven to my knees to cry out as the tax-collector: "God be merciful to me a sinner" (Luke 18:13). That's encouraging to me, because I see my recognition of sin (my poorness of spirit) and my turning to God (mourning over sin) as the Holy Spirit working in my life to move me toward being the person God wants me to be. I am ashamed to admit that I fall into those times of anger and resentment. In doing so, I am in a sense, doubting God's love and provision for me, and yet, I know that God will not abandon me and that he will not ask me to do anything that He hasn't already equipped me to do.

It is a struggle some days, but there is hope. First John 1:9 says--"if we confess our sins, He is faithful to forgive and cleanse us..." People that aren't "in the kingdom" don't acknowledge their sin or grieve over it. I am grateful to see those attributes in my life. It spurs me on to know that God is working, molding, and correcting me for His glory.

Yep. Some days I don't like being a Sunday School teacher. But most days, I thank God for the awesome privilege He gives me each week to share things He has taught me throughout the week.

Friday Photo


flickr: Friday Photo Group

1 comment:


Brother Keith,

What a blessing to know God is in control. Thanks Bro, I needed this today.