Pastoral Perspectives

The Other Beatitudes

A man came to see a counsellor and said:

  1. I want to be healthy
  2. I want to be a good father
  3. I want to increase my savings
  4. I want to spend more time with my family
  5. I want to be a better person

After a few sessions of therapy, the counsellor responded:

  1. You are overweight and not healthy because you do not control your eating habits
  2. You are not a good father because you do what you tell your children not to do
  3. You are not saving because you gamble away your savings
  4. You cannot spend time with your family because you are always with your friends
  5. You cannot be a better person unless you are willing to change for the better.

The man looked up and said, “You nailed it sir! No one named my mistakes this way”.

As a church, we have been talking about ‘being and doing’ for some time now. How are we faring? Is it time to see a counsellor? Wouldn’t it be great if someone could nail our struggles likewise? Sometimes we wonder what stop us from growing in the Lord. We struggle along in our journey trying to live up to the standards of the Beatitudes. Instead, we tend to pursue the other set of “blessings”, what someone calls the …

“Devil’s Beatitudes”

(Author unknown)

  1. Blessed are those who are too tired, too busy, too distracted to spend an hour once a week with their fellow Christians – they are my best workers.
  2. Blessed are those Christians who wait to be asked and expect to be thanked – I can use them.
  3. Blessed are the touchy who church hop – they are my missionaries.
  4. Blessed are the trouble makers – they shall be called my children.
  5. Blessed are the complainers – I’m all ears to them.
  6. Blessed are those who are bored with the minister’s mannerisms and mistakes – for they get nothing out of his sermons.
  7. Blessed is the church member who expects to be invited to his own church – for he is a part of the problem instead of the solution.
  8. Blessed are those who are highly critical of their leaders, for the latter will be grieved and burnt out.
  9. Blessed are those who gossip – for they shall cause strife and divisions that please me.
  10. Blessed are those who are easily offended – for they will soon get angry and quit.
  11. Blessed are those who do not give their offering to carry on God’s work – for they are my helpers.
  12. Blessed is he who professes to love God but hates his brother and sister – for he shall be with me forever.
  13. Blessed are those who have no time to pray, for they are easy prey for me.
  14. Blessed are you who, when you read this, think it is about other people and not yourself – I’ve got you too!

For believers, we have the word of God to continually speak to us. Hebrews 4:12 says “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” We may then ask “How can I do it?” The Psalmist says that it can be done only by living according to the God’s word. We are to seek it with all our heart and hide his Word in our hearts so that we might not sin against God. May we take time to seek God wholeheartedly so that we might grow in our ‘being and doing’.

Psalm 119:9-16 (ESV)

How can a young person stay on the path of purity?
By living according to your word.
10 I seek you with all my heart;
do not let me stray from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.
12 Praise be to you, Lord;
teach me your decrees.
13 With my lips I recount
all the laws that come from your mouth.
14 I rejoice in following your statutes
as one rejoices in great riches.
15 I meditate on your precepts
and consider your ways.
16 I delight in your decrees;
I will not neglect your word.

Ms Loliro Sani

September 20, 2015