This year our verse is Philippians 2:3-5. It encourages us to have the same attitude as Jesus Christ – humility, grace and love.
I believe that Jesus’ teachings known as the Beatitudes are a perfect expression of His heart, and complement the meaning found in Philippians 2:5. If we work towards understanding and changing our behaviour to reflect the eight principles laid down in the Beatitudes, I am convinced that we can develop attitudes that are the perfect prescriptions for maintaining our mental and spiritual health. The words of Jesus in the Beatitudes reveal more succinctly and more clearly than any other section of literature the principles by which a person can know contentment, inner happiness and the right attitude to life and to each other. Have a read.
Matthew 5 (The Message)
1-2 When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:
3 You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
4 You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
5 You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
6 You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.
7 You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.
8 You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
9 You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.
10 You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.
Some commentators refer to them as the “beautiful attitudes”. Our attitudes have a tremendous and powerful influence on every part of our being – spiritual, physical as well as emotional. They are the gateway to health and happiness. The attitudes of the Beatitudes need to become part of our daily thinking and daily living.
The words found in the Bible bring life and hope. What a wonderful world we would live in if more people lived by its principles.
Mrs Sue Skuthorpe