Qualifications for blessedness

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Matthew 5:6

Re-reading the Beatitudes as a personal checklist. Do I qualify to be blessed? I am not poor in spirit, by any definition. I am not gentle. I am often not merciful. I am not pure in heart. I am not a peacemaker.

I have mourned. I have suffered a bit of persecution for the kingdom, probably not enough to count.

But where I know I qualify, where I am looking forward to the payoff, the promise of being filled, is here: I hunger and thirst for righteousness. Like Abraham’s nephew Lot, who was “sick of the shameful immorality of the wicked people around him” (2 Peter 2:7 NLT), unrighteousness eats at me, rubs me raw, pains and angers me continually. Injustice, abuse, greed, arrogance, selfishness.

Unrighteousness in the world, in the White House and Congress, in international relations, in trafficking, in immigration, in intelligence, in national defense, in the military, in the news media, in entertainment, in law, in corporate business, in banking, in science, in education, in athletics, in the arts, in the health industry, in the abortion industry, in state and local politics, in families, in churches, down to unrighteousness in individuals we rub shoulders with every day.

Unrighteousness in me.


About Jessica Renshaw

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3 Responses to Qualifications for blessedness

  1. The one verse my life long (well since college) has been Matthew 6:33. It contains that element of righteousness too. But seek ye first the kingdom of God AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, and all these things (food and raiment) shall be added unto you.” I thought about that this morning while I was donning my spiritual armour. I like fellowshipping with you via blog.

  2. 😮

    That was my mother’s life verse, too.

  3. “…to be ‘poor in spirit’ is to acknowledge our spiritual poverty – indeed, our spiritual bankruptcy – before God. For we are sinners, under the holy wrath of God, and deserving nothing but the judgment of God. We have nothing to offer, nothing to plead, nothing with which to buy the favor of heaven: ‘Nothing in my hand I bring/Simply to Thy cross I cling/Naked, come to Thee for dress/Helpless, look to Thee for grace/Foul, I to the fountain fly/Wash me, Savior, or I die.’ This is the language of the poor in spirit. We do not belong anywhere except alongside the publican in Jesus’ parable, crying out with downcast eyes: ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ As Calvin wrote: ‘He only who is reduced to nothing in himself, and relies on the mercy of God, is poor in spirit.’ To such, and only to such, the kingdom of God is given. For God’s rule which brings salvation is a gift as absolutely free as it is utterly undeserved. It has to be received with the dependent humility of a little child.” – from John R. W. Stott’s 1978 commentary on the Sermon on the Mount (pp. 39-40). Food for thought.

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