Content Within Our Own Skin

Walking through the Beatitudes in The Message translation. Here is the third one, which is akin to the first two.

You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.

The theme of the first two of these theme points of Jesus’s talk concerned emptying yourself so that there is room for God to enter.

This one talks of emptying yourself of all the delusions you have about yourself. Maybe you think that within you are the seeds of being a gazillionaire technology entrepreneur. Maybe, on the other hand, you think that you are worthless–someone who can’t do anything.

Neither is true.

I was lying on the ground staring up at a circle of faces. Below one face was the body of a boy my age wearing boxing gloves. We were maybe 12. I also had on boxing gloves. I don’t think he hit me that hard, but I was down. At that moment I saw the entire scene as if I were above it. I saw the stupidity and futility of living with anger and fighting. More than likely that was the moment I became a pacifist and sought peace in life. Perhaps I was on the way to being content with who I was.

Jesus said that when we empty out the illusions, when we, as Scottish poet Robert Burns said to “see ourselves as ithers see us,” then, at that moment, we own that which cannot be bought–God.

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