For many years Angela Thomas thought of the Beatitudes as a list of "Gotta Be's," as in: Gotta be meek. Gotta be merciful. And when she compared her life to the standard they set, she always felt that she came up short. But through God's great mercy, she has come to see this passage instead as a roster of "When You Are's." When you are meek, there is a spiritual inheritance. When you are merciful, you will be shown mercy.
This shift in thinking has led Thomas to understand that God does not require perfection, but rather our gracious obedience. In His eyes, our lives-complete with mistakes, blemishes, and imperfections-are A Beautiful Offering.