“Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry.
“Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.
“Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.
Pay attention to these woes. We don’t often make it our focal point when looking at the Beatitudes. What is it that these woes have in common? I’ll tell you what I see…I see a life lived independently from God.
Someone who is a “self-made man” and enjoys every earthly convenience and comfort. His life is so “horizontal” in orientation that he does not feel the need to depend upon God for anything.
Someone who has realized the American Dream, and that success has dampened any desire for spiritual things.
Someone who finds his emotional satisfaction and comfort in worldly pleasures and entertainment and has taught his heart to mistake hilarity for joy. He has accepted the tawdry counterfeit.
“All that glisters is not gold—Often have you heard that told.”
Someone who seeks to please men at the expense of truth and the pursuit of things that are easy and gratifying to the flesh to things that are hard-won, wholesome and eternal.
We are created beings. We were never intended to be independent of God or of one another. That is why Paul speaks of the “body” of Christ frequently.
Today, embrace dependence. When I was a single gal, a friend once scrawled this poem on a scrap of paper for me. I think he knew my independent spirit and saw the havoc it was bringing to my life:
I cannot do it alone;
The waves run fast and high,
And the fogs close chill around,
And the light goes out in the sky
But I know that we two shall win –
In the end: Jesus and I.
I cannot row it myself –
My boat on the raging sea.
But besides me sits Another,
Who pulls or steers – with me.
And I know that we two shall come
Safe into port: His child and He.
Coward, and wayward and weak,
I change with the changing sky.
Today so eager and brave;
Tomorrow, not caring to try;
But He never gives in – so we two
Shall win – Jesus and I
Strong and tender and true,
Crucified once for me!
Never will He change, I know,
Whatever I may be.
But all He says I must do
Ever from sin to keep free,
We shall finish our course and reach
Home at last – His child and He. ~Author Unknown