The Devil’s Beatitudes — Are You “Blessed”?

Some days I like to go blog hopping, following links from one blog to another.  I found Nathan’s Two Cents that way, and the first post I read there was titled “The Devil’s Beatitudes.”  Go read them for yourself, then come back and I’ll tell you what I think.

*   *   *   *   *

So, was it scary?  Did you come to the end and recognize yourself in the last line?  I couldn’t imagine what Nathan was talking about in his introductory words until I got there and saw what he was talking about.  I had indeed been seeing other people in those “blessed”s, and I’m none too sure that I hadn’t fallen into the trap of thinking that I’ve never been caught by the same mistakes.

I have been safeguarded against some of these errors by parents who have taught me to love Christ and to love my brethren in the Lord.  Nevertheless, it was good to be reminded of these dangers because no matter how good our training is, we can and do still fall short of acheiving perfection.  I’m sure we can all take these warnings to heart.  The question then becomes, what is our best defense against falling into these traps of the Devil?  My answer is simply to seek after Christ, desiring more and more of him, and to love the brethren.

Loving Christ is relatively easy.  He is so much worth loving!  Seeking after him is tougher because we tend to get caught up in the affairs of this world.  How do you seek Jesus?  That’s a relatively easy one to answer, but not always an easy one to carry out, as I can testify: read your Bible, of course.  The whole Bible is written about Jesus Christ, so you can really start anywhere, though I would advocate starting wherever you’ve been reading already.  The main thing is to be looking for Jesus in every line, searching out the things of God.

Seeking after Christ has some interesting results.  I mentioned that it can be hard to do because we get caught up in everyday affairs.  Well, when we seek Christ daily, eventually we see him in those everyday affairs.  At the same time, those everyday affairs become less important.  I used to think my choices of favorite hymns was odd, “When the Roll is Called Up Yonder,” “I’ll Fly Away,” “Sweet By and By,” but now I understand that choosing those hymns is merely a sign that I have been living the message of another of my favorites: “This World is Not my Home.”  In seeking Christ, I have learned to desire his presence.  Desiring to be with Christ in heaven should not be odd; I think it should be the theme of every Christian.

Now to the second part of our defense, loving our brethren in the Lord.  Loving other believers does not mean that I always agree with them, nor that I cannot think that they are doing something wrong.  Loving others really means caring about them despite the differences we may have and the annoyance they may cause.  When we care about other believers, we will want to spend time with them, share good things with them, encourage them in their Christian walk, and above all, help them find Jesus in a new way.

I think that when we take care to do these two things, we will be safeguarded from these beatitudes of the devil.  Even the last one can be avoided when we focus on the good in our fellow believers and try to cultivate it.  We might avoid a world of pain and harm if we would only keep that focus rather than trying to save our fellows from their errors.  I’m not saying we should be naive about people or that we should pretend their mistakes are no big deal, but really, it’s much easier to get along with people when you are thinking well of them than when you are always noting their faults.

Maybe I should call it separation of sin and the sinner.  We can love the sinner without condoning his sin, and we can love our brethren in the Lord even if their habits are not always Christ-like.

That’s what I think, now how about you?

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2 Comments on “The Devil’s Beatitudes — Are You “Blessed”?”

  1. Kyle Says:

    I’ve been stuck on #2 (waiting to be asked, at least) and have run across #5 and #8 in a previous church, and wasn’t really sure how to deal with it. Does listening involve you in the process? If so, then I’m guilty.


    • Kyle,
      You mean listening to the gossip or the complaining? Guilt by association? Off hand I would think that would depend on your attitude toward the gossip or complaints, and your attitude toward the gossiper or complainer. If you can be guilty by just listening, then I’m probably guilty too, but I’m not inclined to that view. I think there has to be a spirit of agreement with the speaker…

      Now why am I not surprised that #2 gives you trouble… 🙂


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