The Beatitudes, recorded in Chapter 5 of the Gospel of Matthew, are Jesus’ instructions for human thriving. They align quite nicely with the twenty-four character “strengths” foundational to the field of positive psychology.

As a psychologist, Dr. Matheson understands the first two Beatitudes to be temporary psychological states associated with separation from God:

Blessed are the poor in spirit … (those who acknowledge their separation from God)

Blessed are those who mourn… (those who realize what is lost because of the separation)

These two psychological states are relieved, and related human brain capacities replenished, through the active exercise of the six Beatitudes that follow. Dr. Matheson recognizes these six as enduring personality characteristics or psychological traits:

Blessed are the meek…

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness…

Blessed are the merciful…

Blessed are the pure in heart…

Blessed are the peacemakers…

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness…

Following Jesus’ instructions and exercising our character strengths will transform us into the healthy, resilient and productive people we were created to be.

If you haven’t already, take an inventory of your character strengths and get the perspective of friends and family. You may be surprised by the results. Click¬†Character Strengths Program.