THE FIRST WORD
Matthew 5:1-3a [NIV] - Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them. He said: “Blessed..."
Have you ever been in a situation where you had a captive audience who was waiting to hear what you had to say? It does not matter how big or how small your audience was, I just want to know have you ever had that experience? And when the moment came for you to speak, what did you say? What were your very first words?
In a previous blog post, some time ago, we talked a little about first words so, on today, I simply want to remind and encourage my BlogFam to follow Jesus as our role model and be mindful of your FIRST WORDS.
Jesus has a captive audience on the side of the mountain and the first word that Matthew records Jesus saying is BLESSED. I know that some other words came after that in order to complete his thought but to open with such a positive greeting and affirmation is something of which we can all take note.
Unfortunately, it seems to be more common to greet others with words of complaint, gossip, insult, and de-constructive criticism. And if the words do not come out of the individual's mouth or out of our own mouths, our attitude, our stares, our body language reveals exactly what we are thinking.
But on the mountain, Jesus very first word is BLESSED.
BLESSED - Exalted, Holy, Redeemed, Grace, Joy, and Peace... This is Jesus first major revival and he opens with words of affirmation. Because Jesus is God, he knows everyone but because Jesus is also human, I kind of think that he may not have been able to call all of their names. So, amongst strangers and friends, he unifies them all by calling everyone BLESSED.
Many times, we reserve our "NICE" words for people we like or love, people we get along with or people we need to get something from. We too often keep the "NICE" words for when they most benefit us irrespective of the person on the other end. And Jesus flips the script by declaring that everyone is BLESSED and everyone can be BLESSED - now and in the future.
This is remarkable.
This is a lesson that we can all learn from Jesus.
This is not how we usually operate day to day.
We might be curteous. We might not say exactly what we are thinking because we want to act like we actually do care about the feelings of others or we are concerned that we might make ourselves look bad. But what if, for the next few weeks, we ignored our personal prejudices, idiosyncracies, and grudges and spoke BLESSINGS over EVERYONE?
As I stated, I know that this first word is actually the beginning of a series of words that formed a sentence and that group of sentences formed what has come to be known as the BEATTITUDES. Yet, I am fascinated that regardless of the age, gender, economic status, political or social position/clout, at the feet of Jesus and by the pronouncement of Jesus, we are equal and we are BLESSED.
During this Lenten Season, I challenge you to make your first words in texts, emails, tweets, Facebook Updates, dinner conversations, meetings, and wherever you choose to open your mouth or use words.... I challenge you to be mindful of your very first word[s] and to follow Jesus example to speak words of affirmation and celebration into and over the lives of others.
Allow me to go first in this space...
BlogFam, BLESSINGS be upon YOU!
GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!!!
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