Pastor So brought us the message this past Sunday: In Matthew 5, the first four beatitudes focus on our relationship with God. The next four focus on our relationship with each other. Human relationships are delicate and difficult. But Matthew 5:7-8 give us two essentials to living a healthy and genuine life.
1) The Bliss of Perfect Sympathy: The Greek word for mercy literally means to get inside the other person's skin, feeling and thinking the way that they do. It denotes an effort of mind and will and a deliberate intention to identify with another. In the parable of the good Samaritan, the Jewish lawyer wanted to clarify who is his neighbor. But instead, Jesus challenges the man to focus on the person who is acting neighborly (merciful).
In our efforts to be merciful though we do have to be careful of three areas: a) apathy - we must not be complacent or indifferent to others; b) judging; c) lack of wisdom.
2) The Bliss of the Pure Heart: The Greek word means washing/clean, undiluted. In practice, it is a sense of being warm, genuine and sincere, not phony. To have a pure heart is to be utterly honest and sincere. It is to show who we truly are without masks to one another.
May God grant us these qualities towards one another this week!