In Latin, the word 'beatitudes' is translated to 'blessings', which makes obvious sense concerning the context if you read Matthew 5:2-12. While the actual title "The Beatitudes" is not Scripture itself, but rather added for reader content, I never put much thought into what it actually translated to until now. To me, it was just a name, and regardless of the fact that it doesn't have anything to do with the translated word, 'attitude' always stuck out as a child in my head, and even as an adult.
Yet upon reading, I found that perhaps 'attitude' may in fact be appropriate as well. Of the blessings stated in The Beatitudes, some of them can indeed be intentional. First, here they are:
And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
(Matthew 5:2-12 ESV)We can learn to be meek (humble, patient and docile). We can strive to hunger and thirst for righteousness, not our own pleasures or motives. We can learn to be merciful, or even look to be more pure in heart. We can learn to be peacemakers, rather than those who cause and fuel conflict.
So while these beatitudes, or these blessings, are given to encourage and comfort us, they most definitely show that we should learn to "be" these "attitudes" that God calls us to be. It's work to change, but thankfully, I won't be running out of any work to do for a while! =)
Loving growth ...