Can the Beatitudes Help Me Live a Better and Beautiful Life?

Can the Beatitudes Help Me Live a Better and Beautiful Life? April 18, 2024

A hand pointing to a field. The Beatitudes point us to Jesus
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If you have been a believer for a long time, you can probably say The Lord’s Prayer by heart.

There are other passages that come to mind, John 3:16, Genesis 1:1 and most likely Psalm 23. You have probably read those passages for years and years. Another passage that immediately comes to mind is The Beatitudes. How many times have you read them? When Christ gave his sermon on the mount he gave us this beautiful soliloquy of scripture. My husband asked me to write about the Beatitudes. His reasoning? Many go to the Ten Commandments as a place to dwell. But how many look at the Beatitudes? It is a blueprint for a life lived in service to God. 

A Simple mountain path leading to the path of life.
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Blessed are the Poor in Spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus didn’t mean physically poor, he was referring to acknowledging that we have realized that with God, we are indeed impoverished in spirit. We know we need him to get us through life. One of my favorite authors, C.S. Lewis said: “God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.” He was most definitely right. Right now, my house is empty. All of my kids are grown. My 4 Army boys are off serving the country, my daughters are living their lives. My spirit feels quite needy without them tearing in and out of the house. God’s word and spirit are needed in my spirit to fill that deep, yet necessary hole of kids launching. 

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

When we ponder mourning, it is usually someone grieving the loss of a loved one. In this particular passage, to mourn is to know that we are not perfect. We get angry, we have nefarious thoughts. We’ve lied, we have been rude to someone, the list goes on. We sin. God in his grace and mercy comforts us through his forgiveness of our transgressions. Isn’t it comforting to know that even at our worst, God will forgive us? All we have to do is pray. Now, there are some days when those prayers are plentiful because life can try us at times. He is there, with his heavenly consolation. 


Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

What do you think of when you see the word meek? I immediately think of a weak person, readily trampled on by those with a stronger will. Did you now that Moses was referred to as meek? Numbers 12:3. Jesus also said that he was meek as well. The son of God was meek. Matthew 11:28-29. In this scripture meek is: power under God’s control. To be meek is to understand that you are a child of God. Also, it is to be a long-suffering, patient servant of God. I often am reminded of my husband’s grandfather who was a life-long pastor. He was the epitome of meek and mild. He understood himself to be God’s humble servant. He never gave himself heirs, he asserted himself when needed with a gentle, yet firm voice. One such occasion was in the 60s. He was a leader of a group of pastors that condemned racism of any kind. Grandfather knew that God would never want any person to be treated unfairly. After the event, he didn’t take to the microphone and proclaim it to everyone. Rather, he went back to his life of service. He lived a very long and fruitful life with his wife of over 70 years. God rest his precious soul. 

Blessed are them that hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 

Have you ever heard the phrase: “God shaped hole?” I’ve heard this uttered a lot recently by social commentators when they refer to social media, excessive phone time, and the lack of in-person social meetings. We have an innate need to be in right standing with God. We humans come up with interesting ways to fill that need. God created us to desire to serve him. To serve him is to walk toward that metaphorical hunger and thirst for him. I often tell my kids, “Say a prayer, touch some grass, find some friends, love your family and put down the phone.” Of course, they roll their eyes. But, that little saying brings them closer to filling and having a right relationship with God. 

A person walking on the sand and water towards the sun. Waling towards truth
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Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy

Recently I came across a quote that said, “Mercy is never cowardly. Mercy is strength. It takes courage to be merciful in a life like this.” Sophia Slade. Mercy begets mercy. We need God’s mercy because, without it, we would be so weighed down in our minds and spirit. Think about cancel culture, it can be quite brutal. I often read memes of “Aren’t you glad that you grew up before social media and cancel culture was a thing? We said our silly stuff, realized it was wrong and went on with our lives.” We were given mercy in our youth and ignorance. Mercy is all but lost with cancel culture. God’s mercy is needed for us to grow from our weakness into God’s strength. We need to give mercy because other people are on that same journey through life. The only mercy that is truly lasting is the mercy from God himself. 

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

When you ponder something that is pure, what comes to mind? To be pure is to be unmixed with any other matter. It is to be free from dust, dirt and taint. You might be asking, “If we are sinners in a fallen world how can we be pure in heart?” That is a pertinent question for sure. We are made pure by seeking God and his wisdom. The Psalmist David often asked God to purify his heart. Create in me a clean heart, and renew a right and steadfast spirit in me. David, who took another man’s wife, David, who many times turned his back on God, knew that God would restore him from his impurity into God’s purity. We find our purity in our loving God. Seek him, he will help purify your motives, your mind, your spirit and soul. 

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God

The Hebrew word that Jesus used here was Shalom. What does that mean? It means wholeness, safety and completeness. It also means: May you be full of well-being. To be a peacemaker is to trust in God and his desire for our soul to have peace. Jesus was not referring to a mediator (though you might need to be one) but rather, he was referring to the peace that comes only through a relationship with God. Peacemakers help prepare brokenness in the world. They offer comfort to the hurting. They help bring justice when injustice is present. In reading about the word shalom I found that it implies that there is so much of God’s peace in you that it flows to others. Peacemakers are Jesus’ greatest command; to love God and love your neighbor as yourself. Let us be those peacemakers, those shalom makers, the children of God. 


Standing on a mountain top looking for truth
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Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 

Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Righteousness in a fallen world is sometimes a lonely walk. To love the unlovable, to actively seek to comfort those who are considered outcasts to our society will naturally garner some persecution. In some places, very severe persecution. To seek what is right, to seek the face of God sometimes does not come naturally to us. When life gets hard with its trials and troubles, we can sometimes question if this discipleship is even worth it. We may pray, “Where are you Lord?” I am reminded of the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He was a pastor that was hanged during WWII for his beliefs against the Nazis at the time. He was persecuted mercilessly. He spent 2 years in prison, yet he never lost his faith. He was sent to trial with no evidence against him, with no defense and no records. After that, he was sentenced to death by hanging. Even in that time of certain death, Bonhoeffer remained faithful. As he was led to the gallows he said that this life may be over, but it was really beginning in eternity. The cost of following Christ for him was his life, yet he knew there would be heaven awaiting. One of my favorite quotes by Bonhoeffer is from The Cost of Discipleship: “It is only because he became like us that we can become like him.”

The Beatitudes are a reflection of Christ, as he dwelled on this earth as one of us and gave us his wisdom to guide us through.  


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