Over the next few weeks, the Young Adults team will focus on the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:2-11.
Usually, the month of January is a time of newness - new habits, new commitments, and a season of fresh starts. We want personal growth and to get a larger slice of happiness in life. The self-help gurus tell us that we need to ‘visualise’, ‘hustle’ and ‘put in work’ to live the good life and to get true happiness. At this time of the year, there’s an increase in motivational posts on social media and entrepreneurs have stepped up their game to ‘make that money’ and ‘earn that passive income’.
There is nothing wrong with this but Jesus tells us that we shouldn’t confuse this with happiness.
On July 4th 1776 Thomas Jefferson along with the congressional committee presented the Declaration of Independence which contains this statement:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness"
But what is happiness really?
The word Beatitude comes from the Latin word beatus meaning both “happy” and “blessed”. In the Beatitudes, Jesus tells us what being truly happy and blessed looks like. It looks a lot different to what many self-help gurus tell us. Jesus’ view of happiness is counter-cultural in every way. He tells us not to measure our happiness by what we see right now but instead to hold hope of a future reward. But are we willing to reprioritise the temporary pursuit of a happiness that does not last and go for a happiness that is beyond the here and now?
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”