Faithfulness in Perspective

beatitudes1    Living a faithful life starts in the church but is continued and tested outside in the real world. In Matthew’s chapters he relates the story of how Jesus spoke of the faithful way to live our lives. Jesus gave his people the Beatitudes as a guide for how they should live because the physical things people want on Earth are not of any value in the afterlife, and the attributes that may make a person rich or famous are not what God is looking for to be considered faithful.  In the Scarlet Letter, Hester represents her devotion to God when she embraces her punishment and makes the extravagant scarlet letter “A”, even though she is gossiped about, harassed, and ridiculed. By accepting her punishment and going about her daily life, raising Pearl, and not showing hatred for Dimmesdale, Hester exemplifies following the beatitudes and is therefore faithful to God, even after she had sinned.

Jesus also makes revisions from the old testament, which was about equal punishment, by saying that people should love their neighbors and never take revenge on another person, no matter what they did to anger them. Considering revenge is a sin all in itself. Hamlet in Shakepeare’s play, Hamlet, tries to avenge this father’s death by killing his uncle Claudius, who has stepped into the throne and seduced his mother. Hamlet isn’t living a faithful life in this situation because he is seeking revenge, when he should be leaving the past behind him and reconciling with his uncle. That being said, Jesus also says that love is forever and that people should try everything in their power to keep love alive in a marriage.  Jesus says the love of God should be able to help someone to learn to love his or her spouse after some of the lust of love has faded. Hamlet’s mother did not abide by this rule because after her husband was killed she did not remain faithful to him and moved on to Hamlet’s uncle, Claudius.

Another section of the bible that relates to this subject would be in Peter 1: 5-9 when Peter states that if you live a faithful life, use self control to forgive others for their sins, and love others as you love God, your sins will be forgiven and you will go to heaven. Faithfulness is not just revealed in the sense of prayer, but in the daily lives of humans in their mortal life, so that way they may move on to live with God in the afterlife as a reward for their good choices.

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