Character CountsPosted on 30 Jul 2012, by Kingdom-Life Disciples: Virtues, Values & Valour in
Doriani (2006) argues that the beatitudes are “kingdom virtues” that “do more than describe a disciple; they also describe Jesus, the master” (p. 15). Virtues are qualities that make up a person’s character (Stassen & Gushee, 2003, p. 32). The Beatitudes form the foundational virtues for the Christian follower/leader. Matthew 5:3-12 prescribes a path toward character formation that seeks to relate to God, and then to others.
Each beatitude begins with a pronouncement of blessing (“blessed”) followed by a statement of the recipient of the blessing. The English word, “blessed,” in Greek is makarios. Some translations have translated the Greek word to mean “happy,” which “tends to trivialize the meaning by simply suggesting a temporary emotional or circumstantial state” (Wilkins, 2004, p. 204). To be “blessed” by God means “to be approved, to find approval” (Carson, 1978, p. 16) from Him who gives man life. When we are blessed by God, we are “in a happy state” –we are joyful, even when our circumstances and situations may sometimes dictate otherwise. Matthew records eight such “blessings.”