Being Happy For The Right Reasons
Is Never Wrong
Yes He does and there is no place where He makes the point more clearly than in the first part of the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12).
Unfortunately, what people say about the beatitudes doesn’t always convey “happy.”
Even the word “Beatitude” is a bit misleading. It has a ceremonial ring to it and casts the pall of religious sludge over teachings Jesus intended to be refreshing.
Not only is the word not found in the Bible, it is stretching the point to call it English. It is a transliteration of the Latin word “beati” – meaning blessed or happy – and, to my knowledge has no other use other than referencing the first part of Jesus’ Sermon. Google it for yourself and see.
No doubt the word is still used today because clerics popularized it and their intent was anything but clarity.
Generally speaking all religions, including Christianity, are not known for showing a happy face but believe it or not this word actually means “supreme blessedness or happiness” (The Free Online Dictionary ). Usual interpretations convey everything but.
Take for example the following statement by John Gill:
All mankind are spiritually poor; they have nothing to eat that is fit and proper; nor any clothes to wear, but rags; nor are they able to purchase either; they have no money to buy with; they are in debt, owe ten thousand talents, and have nothing to pay; and in such a condition, that they are not able to help themselves. The greater part of mankind are insensible of this their condition; but think themselves rich, and increased with goods: there are some who are sensible of it, who see their poverty and want, freely acknowledge it, bewail it, and mourn over it; are humbled for it, and are broken under a sense of it; entertain low and mean thoughts of themselves; seek after the true riches, both of grace and glory; and frankly acknowledge, that all they have, or hope to have, is owing to the free grace of God.
This is Mr. Gill’s explanation of “poor in spirit” which was the first point Jesus made in His sermon. No disrespect intended but where’s the “happy?” I don’t even get a warm fuzzy after reading those remarks.
The sad part is many others sound just like him. There are minor differences in wording but the spirit is the same. [Read more…]