The Beatitudes Are a Road Map
Updated: May 4
The first set of three Beatitudes, poor in spirit, mourning, and meekness, address the active elements of the facets of love. They require spiritual skills to dismantle the lies that have established and are reinforcing the false self.
After the Will decides to desire righteousness, the next three Beatitudes circle back around and address the passive elements of the three facets of love. These elements are required to surrender our self-will, to trust God, and to prepare us for a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
First, we must show mercy. Feeling mercy for others requires the spiritual skill of self-awareness. It is the opposite of hiding from ourselves, which is lying to ourselves in order to feel proud. Self-awareness is a form of admitting: admitting the icky, negative, shameful parts of our thinking and feeling. Only when we admit them can we bring them out into the light. As long as they stay hidden, we can hold ourselves as proud and self-righteous.
When we know what we are really doing and why, we can begin to have compassion for ourselves. This enables us to see others more clearly: what they are doing and why. This opens the door to showing others the same mercy that we learn to show ourselves.
“I desire mercy and not sacrifice” (Matthew 9:13). What is the difference?
Sacrifice is showing compassion with the expectation of being paid back for it. Mercy is showing compassion with no expectation of being paid back for it.
Mercy is like forgiveness in real time. Forgiveness is giving up the idea of ever getting paid back for a wrong that was done to you. We see who others are and this fuels compassion for them. But the compassion we show desires no recompense. None.
This is a spiritual skill that is applied universally, even to our enemies (Matthew 5:44) because it is the result of our character, not the result of who others are, what others have done, or what others might do. As a result of achieving this Beatitude, you begin to become a tool for God, a conduit for showing his love to others.
The sixth Beatitude, the “pure of heart,” is about allowing the full range of emotions to flow. This is a person who is fully alive … not afraid to feel sadness, anger, fear, or peace, power and joy. This spiritual skill frees that which makes us fully alive: “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalms 46:10). When we stop striving and blocking, we allow Jesus to make His home with us (John 14:23) because we will be able to handle the full range of positive emotions that will result from his indwelling.
The seventh Beatitude, the “peacemakers,” is the personal relationship with Jesus Christ himself. This Beatitude is about fully trusting Jesus to provide everything that we need, both physical and emotional, every single day throughout the day. This relationship results in obeying his direction, moment by moment of what to do and what to say. It requires learning who God is in order to trust him. It requires the complete surrender of our self-will, all thoughts of the past or future, and all fear. This is one of the reasons that Jesus came to the earth: so that he could be our personal friend, so that we could become One with him and His father.
Once we have established a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, he can use us for our true purpose here on earth: to create in accordance with God’s plan to bring all of his fallen creatures back into unity with Him. We are here to do our part, to do His will. In the creating, we experience pure joy.
A peacemaker is someone who has created something that greatly influences others toward good. It is possible to create, to some degree, before this step, but at this level of spiritual growth, our potential is maximized. We are fully alive and creating alongside Jesus Christ, who is guiding our every step.
Once we start on this journey, once we begin employing these skills daily and begin learning more and more Truth, we become a source of light in the world and we are no longer of the world. The world, which is ruled by Satan and contains all of his fallen followers, does not like it when a person escapes. It will lie about us, calling us everything that is 180-degrees different than what we really are. It will project its own base desires and motivations onto us. It will not be able to see us as the source of light and servant of God that we are. Expect persecution throughout the spiritual growth process and expect it from those closest to you.