It is time once again for a little “table talk.” You know, questions that you can ask with your family, around the dinner table or in the car on the way to sports practice. Don’t try to do these all at once. And don’t think that only older kids can answer these types of questions!
Here’s the way to start this off…
- We say that being compassionate or responsible makes a “good person.” What other characteristics do you suppose it would be good to have?
- What about contentment – being truly happy, would that be a good quality to have? (there are no right or wrong answers to some of these questions!)
- How about being determined – you want to get something done!
- What if what you want to get done, or what makes you happy, hurts other people?
Wow, we really have to pay attention to our character!
Jesus taught us in the Beatitudes, some qualities that God wants to see in us. Let’s take a look.
Open up a Bible to the New Testament, Matthew, chapter 5. Read verses 3-10. Or, read them a verse at a time and discuss using the questions below.
Beatitude #1 (verse 3): Blessed are the poor in spirt…
- What does “Poor in Spirit” mean? (How lost you are without God! It may help to think of what the opposite of poor in spirit looks like: proud, an “I can do it all by myself” attitude.)
- Someone with this Beatitude in their make-up is dependant on God and puts their whole trust in God. How do we put our whole trust in God?
- Do you suppose that means we accept that sometimes bad things will happen to us but that God will help us and comfort us?
- What makes you aware that you depend on God?
- How have you been blessed by recognizing your spiritual bankruptcy?
Without God, our life would be empty!
This would be a good place to stop for one day. Come back to finish up. (But please continue on if conversation is going good.)
Beatitude #2 (verse 4): Blessed are those who mourn…
- What does mourn mean? (Someone who is mourning is very sad. The opposite: happy at any cost.)
- People who mourn, find comfort? Do we honestly see ourselves as “blessed” when bad things happen? (Maybe we need to mourn to find God’s comfort.)
- What does God’s comfort feel/look like?
- When he talked about those who mourn, Jesus also meant those who are sad about unhappiness in the world. Do you suppose God’s comfort could be God guiding sad people to help others?
Sometimes it is not until a hard time in our lives is over, that we can see that God was with us, that we were blessed by God.
This would be another good place to stop. (You get the idea.)
Beatitude #3 (verse 5): Blessed are the meek…
- Blessed are the meek… is Jesus telling us to allow people to walk all over us? Don’t meek people get bullied? Don’t the strong get everything they go for? (See this post for more on what Jesus meant by meek.)
- What if you “gave in” to someone else, do you suppose you’d gain or loose by acting meekly?
- How would it feel to be labeled by your friends as “meek?”
- The meekness that Jesus is describing is like a powerful horse who by it’s training is able to be ridden. (This is the way the Greek word for meek – praus – was used.) So in a sense, the horse is being meek! A meek person isn’t weak; they are strong! What are other examples of power under control? How does this change your feelings about being meek?
Being meek is hard work! It goes against what the world around us tells us we should do. I’ll bet that we need to pray to God for his help to be meek.
To be continued… here!