Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Matthew 5:5


We are making our way through the Gospel of Matthew and specifically we are into the 3rd beatitude. The first two beatitudes we turned into disciplines.

#1-REAFFIRM YOUR POVERTY--To have a right evaluation of yourself before God-your wickedness (making it possible to do almost anything, any time) and your wonder (you are not as bad as you could be, since you are created in the image of the God of gods). 3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

#2-REFRAME YOUR WEAKNESSES--To reframe your wickedness means to develop a sensitivity to that which keeps you from being and doing all that you were created to be and to do. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

#3-RENEW YOUR CONFIDENCE 5 Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.

To renew your confidence means to develop a quiet, controlled strength. This discipline or attitude continues the progression. First, reaffirm your poverty (a right evaluation of your self, God, and others), then reframe your weaknesses (a sensitivity to that which keeps you from being and doing what you were created to be and to do), and now comes the renewing of your confidence-the renewal of your inner strength. In other words, once you see clearly who you really are, you are ready for growth. Then, if you are able to mourn over that which can keep you from growing, you actually graduate through this pile of problems. Now, you can't remain under the pile of mourning; you must gain inner strength as you emerge from the pile.

If you just learn how to mourn and remain there, you will be content to wallow in your weaknesses. Many people seem to enjoy suffering like this. They find a new friend in depression or loss or a sickness. They find that people seem to care more for them when they're wallowing in a problem, so they take that problem on as their identity-sort of a badge of courage. Don't wallow in your sorrows! Mourn them! Recognize them! See them for what they are! And grow through it!

Another way to look at the progression is: First, suffer the loss or problem with great sorrow! Second, see the passing nature of the situation! Third, stand on the promise of something better to come through it all!

To renew your confidence is to focus on the product of what you can learn in the midst of your struggles. "Gentle" is the word for meekness. Meekness is not weakness! It's developing a quiet, controlled inner strength or confidence that can only come from God's inside operation on your life. This is why we continue to speak of transformation or regeneration! It's an inside job by Jesus, Himself in a person's life. You recognize your desperate need, you mourn over it, inviting the Lord to do His work in your life. He does His work in your heart and creates a wonderful inner confidence-an inner strength that empowers you to start over!

It's learning to grow for it-no matter how rough or how tough life can be! Again, I say, it's not what happens to you, but how you handle what happens to you that matters most. Renew your confidence and live your life-inside out!

The struggle here in renewing your confidence is to be diligent to find your inner strength in His work and not your own. Are you sensitive to God's transformation in your heart? Are you aware of His continued work every day in and through you? This is the basis of meekness!