unBeatitudes: Blessed are the Successful

Blessed are the successful, for they earned what they have.

Blessed are those who pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, who work harder and smarter than the rest, who outlast the field to earn their slice of the pie. Blessed is the early bird, who stands before other achievers to claim to the best, biggest, juiciest worm. Blessed are the victorious, who withstand all challengers to conquest.

Blessed are the the self-confident, the audacious, and the unapologetic, for they command attention, well positioned to get what they want. Blessed are the authoritative, for their words are respected. Blessed are the revered, the knowledgeable, the wise, because when they speak, others listen. Blessed are those to whom the masses bow in deference, for they possess influence. Blessed are the educated, the intelligent, the confident, for they know what they are talking about. Blessed are those who are never dumbstruck, at a loss for words, or confused, for they carve out corners of kingdoms for themselves. 

Blessed are the rich; rich in attitude and custom, rich in assets and resources, rich in word and deed, for they are in no-one's need. Blessed are the self-sustaining, the independent, the comfortable, the wealthy, for they already possess what others might only have by gift. Blessed are those who do not require help, for they themselves will never then be in debt. Blessed are they who have no want, for they have no obligations. 

Blessed are those who are elected to positions of power, who create worlds in their own image; because they later can rest from their work, admiring all they have created. For six days they will have labored, invested, risked, and sweated - and therefore lack for nothing. Blessed are those who have eaten are are satisfied, who have settled down in fine homes in fertile valleys, whose investments are prosperous and multiplying, for they know their efforts have paid off. Blessed are those who have not tasted poverty, lack, or need, for they have been spared the indignity of suffering. Blessed are they who received great fortunes from ancestors and relatives, because they are spared the shame of deprivation. Blessed even more are those who have battled out of destitution - because they feel no claim upon their success: from the yet-poor, the lazy, least of all, God.

Blessed are those who need nothing, for they possess a kingdom.


"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." -Jesus (Matthew 5:3)

Consider yourself lucky if you are poor, if you don't have enough, if you have no choice but to rely on the grace of 'the other'. You are lucky if you have been defeated, if your hard work has not produced anything, if an earlier-bird was up before you. Because you are now in position to receive that which is best. 

Consider yourself lucky if no one listens to you, if you get tongue-tied and taken advantage of, if you have to ask for help. You are lucky if you owe it to someone else, because you are interconnected; ostensibly bathed in community, dependent, and rich in relationship. Consider yourself lucky if you are an immigrant or a refugee - if you have no other option but to throw yourself on the mercy of strangers. Consider yourself lucky if you are desperate, because you are the kind of person who makes the world more like the Heaven. 

You are lucky if the seventh day rest is an act of faith - stopping work not a privilege, but a risk. You are lucky because you are afforded the experience of trust in something, someone, other. You're lucky if God has ever been all that you had left. 

You're lucky if you've been humiliated by receiving charity, by accepting a handout, by becoming a burden. You're lucky because only such are capable themselves of generosity. You're lucky if you are compelled to give - if you shoot yourself in the foot because of lavish offerings - if you can't help but to see suffering - because you know something greater, you know the mysterious gift of losing your life, and the resurrection that follows. Blessed are you if you've hit rock bottom, because you know that life is sustained by grace, that everything is a gift. 

Blessed are those who are poor, in everything, for they will possess the kingdom.


To read the second post in the "UnBeatitudes" series, click here.