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Blessed are those who do not jump to conclusions, for they will see the world with unveiled eyes.

Blessed are those who humbly assume they’re not right about everything. They will inherit understanding.

Blessed are those who react with sadness instead of outrage, for their tears are seeds that will grow into trees of joy.

Blessed are those who love vehemently, unconditionally, and indiscriminately, for they will be beacons of hope in an ultra-polarized world.

Blessed are those who choose the uncomfortable good over the convenient “normal”. They will know true comfort.

Blessed are the Truth-Tellers, for they will know Him who is Truth

Blessed are the peacemakers, for creation is eagerly waiting for them, and their time has come.

You are the sauce of the earth. You’re created to bring spice, zest, and life to whatever you’re added to. But if sauce goes moldy or rancid, how can it be made good for food again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown into the garbage and then the landfill.

You are the light of the world. If you go by My name, people will see you, and know Me by your actions. So shine! Don’t hide Me, or hinder Me from shining through your brokenness. Be like Me. Act like Me. Speak like Me. And let those around you see it. If you do, they’ll want what you have.

You know well the command “You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be judged.” But I tell you that anyone who lets outrage stew in their hearts will be judged the same way. If anyone leaves an angry comment on a post, they will be held accountable for it. And anyone who calls someone stupid is walking on the road that leads to hell.

So, if you are at church or you’re reading your Bible, and you remember that you said or did something offensive to someone God loves, stop what you’re doing. Go, and call them or message them. Ask their forgiveness, and do what you need to do to be reconciled to them as soon as possible; then come back and worship with a clean heart and a clean slate.

You know well the command, “Don’t cheat on your spouse,” and “Don’t look at porn”. But I tell you that anyone who stares at an Instagram model with desire in their eyes has already cheated with that model in their hearts.

If your smartphone causes you to stumble, break its screen and throw it into a lake. It is better for you to lose something you own than for everything you are to be destroyed.

And if having an internet connection causes you to stumble, smash your router and cut up your SIM card. It is better for you to live a life disconnected than to be destroyed because of that connection.

Again, you know well that it was said to people long ago, “Do not lie”, and “Don’t give an untrue testimony against your neighbor” But I tell you, do not even entertain falsities, Fake News, or conspiracies on your newsfeed. You are called to be Truth-Tellers and Truth-Bearers. Don’t let your political biases steal that title from you. Instead, approach every story you hear and every report you see with the humility of imperfect knowledge. Be willing to change your mind in the presence of unexpected Truth, and don’t share a post without confirming its authenticity. Be a Truth-Teller, as your Father is.

You know the saying, “Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.” But you need to know, that’s not how the Kingdom of Heaven works. It’s not ok to return gunfire for gunfire, or bombs for bombs. Instead, if someone attacks you, look them in the eye as they do it, so that they’re forced to come to terms with your humanity and your love. If someone exploits you or taxes you, give them twice what they ask for. Be unreasonably generous and self-sacrificial. That’s the way the Kingdom works.

You’re used to the idea of, “Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I tell you, Love your Enemies. Seek blessing and good fortune for those who persecute, exploit, and dishonor you. Why? Because that’s what your Father God does. He loved us when we hated Him. He died for us when we would have rather killed Him. He gave us everything when we were destitute thieves with nothing.

If you love those in your political party, but despise those in the other, you’re thinking the exact same way an atheist or a terrorist thinks.

Instead, be perfect in your love, forgiveness, and mercy, because your Heavenly Father is perfect in His.

I read Matthew 5 the other day, and was amazed by how much it spoke to me for the challenges we’ve been facing this year, so I wanted to share what I felt when I read the chapter.

There’s a few pretty heavy lines in the above interpretation that I ended up with.. I struggled with the question of how to communicate these ideas honestly, yet full of grace.

However, because Matthew 5 is a pretty heavy chapter to start with, I opted to lean in to that heaviness, even if it made me uncomfortable.

That being said, I offer this full of love and humility.

If you have any critiques or suggestions for different phrasing, I welcome them through the email form at the top of the post (Menu -> Say Hi!).

~ Josh