Blessed are the Poor in Spirit
In the Kingdom of God, where everything seems so upside down compared to culture, what does it mean to be 'poor in spirit'?
“And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying: ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.’” Matthew 5:1-3.
Being poor in spirit must be important if it means taking possession of the Kingdom of heaven itself!
Here are 10 points and some scriptures that have helped me to consider and meditate on what it looks like to be poor in spirit.
You do not exalt yourself and you are not proud. Even though you may be considered insignificant by others, you see it all as God’s will and rejoice that you are allowed to share in the sufferings of Christ. The sufferings of Christ mostly refer to the inner sufferings that Christ experienced when He denied and put to death His own will when He was tempted and chose to obey God instead. It becomes natural for you to go the way of God. (1 Peter 5:5; 1 Peter 4:13; 1 Peter 5:6)
You love to do all your work in the hidden and do not seek to receive honour or validation from others. (Matthew 6:1-4)
You love to occupy the lowest place, not because you desire to be more esteemed, but because you think that this is precisely the place that it is suitable for you. You are reserved in your conduct – neither aggressive nor demanding. (Luke 14:7-11; Philippians 2:3)
You do not seek to be anything great, whether it is on an earthly or a spiritual level; your only desire is to do God’s will from moment to moment.
You love to give up your advantages for the benefit of others. (Philippians 2:4)
You are just as happy wherever God puts you – whether it is among the teeming masses or in a solitary place – because you meet God in each place by doing His will.
His love compels you to contribute to the others’ good. Your life evolves as the life of a servant, and you are more than willing to bear the others’ burdens. You do not discriminate and are a servant to all. Therefore, you go just as willingly to where sorrow prevails as to where joy is overflowing. (Mark 9:35; 1 Corinthians 9:19-23; Romans 12:15-16)
Your ear is open to God’s voice, not just to enjoy it in self-satisfaction, but in order to be obedient and to do what you have heard. (James 1:22)
Being poor in spirit is really something for us to desire if we want to follow Jesus well – “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven!”