So I am making my way through the Sermon on the Mount as I have been doing, when on this day verse four of chapter five stops me in my tracks. Mid-bite into my “everything” bagel, spread with too much butter, I am reading, “Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.” What is this all about?
I once read in a Bible study tool that the word “blessed” means “happy.” Happy are those who mourn for they will be comforted? This doesn’t make a lick of sense to me. Why mourn to be happy? Why not just be happy? I hear a song coming to mind.
A friend and I once read “Become What You Are” by William Klein as we have committed to read through the Sermon. The book’s focus is the spiritual formation provided by the Sermon. So I take a peek at its explanation of the verse. Klein states that what we are to mourn is our sin and the sin of others. Mourn my sin and the sin of others?
When I think of mourn, mourning, or mourners, I think of a funeral. I see loved ones of the deceased crying and sobbing. I also picture some tragic situation: a natural disaster, an accident of some kind, or some violent act of man that has destroyed property and lives. Those who remain are walking around in shock, mourning the loss of what once was.
I have never really thought about my sin in this way, let alone anybody else’s. I probably am more inclined to mourn or grieve the consequences of my sin. You know what I mean. I grieve more over the money spent to cover the fine more than the act of speeding. That sounds really selfish, but it’s true.
So I am throwing this around in my head when it finally makes sense. If I don’t have a right attitude toward sin - my sin and the sin of others, I think two things will be most evident. If I don’t mourn sin, I cannot be transformed into the likeness of Christ. Think about it. If I continue in my sin without repulsion to it, is this not a measurement of my heart for God and willingness to allow Him to change me from the inside-out?
For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
2 Corinthian 6:14
And how can God be glorified in a Jesus-follower who isn’t willing to follow Jesus? No wonder we are seen as hypocrites – unnoticeably different from the world.
I also think when I have a right attitude toward my sin I begin to see the sin of others in a different light. I will begin to see the sin of others not as something to judge, but as an opportunity to extend grace – a grace embracing their brokenness as God, in Christ, embraces the brokenness in me.
God, so many of your ways are so foreign to me. Teach me your ways so that I can walk in your truth, righteousness, and all that is good and blessed. May I have a right attitude toward my sin and the sin of others. Transform me for your glory!
Thinking about reading verse five …tomorrow.