“Spiritually Poor” or “Poor in Spirit”? What does that mean?
What “Poor in Spirit” does NOT mean:
1. “Poor in spirit” does not mean material poverty.
2. “Poor in spirit” does not mean a lack of courage.
3. “Poor in spirit” does not mean putting myself down.
4. “Poor in spirit” does not mean suppressing my personality.
What “Poor in Spirit” really means:
“Poor in spirit” means to humbly admit my need for God.
Jesus is talking about humility, admitting that I don’t have it all together, realizing that I haven’t arrived, realizing that I haven’t learned it all, that I’m not the sum total of the universe, that I’m not perfect.
The opposite of poor in spirit is arrogance or egotism. Jesus said if you’re full of arrogance and egotism you’re never going to be happy.
Implementing Proper Spirituality
God created us as Spiritual Beings
“The Good News was preached so that in their spiritual existence they may live as God lives. 1 Peter 4:6
How we express our Spirituality is vital.
“We should submit to our spiritual Father and live!” Hebrews 12:9
Our Options: Proud in Spirit or Poor in Spirit
Proud in Spirit
Qualities: Arrogance, Pride, and Egotism
“I’m pretty good”
“ I can work to make me OK”
“I’m better than many I know”
*At a church one of the priests ran up to the altar, throwing himself on his knees, crying, “I’m nobody Lord! I’m nobody! Nobody!”
Another priest witnesses his state of humility and is so deeply moved, he too runs to altar yelling, “Lord, I”m nobody! I’m nobody, Lord!”
The janitor mopping the floor is dumbstruck, and also deeply moved. Filled with piety and a fervent spirit, he drops his mop and also dashes to the altar, proclaiming, “I’m nobody! Oh Lord, hear me, I’m nobody! Nobody!”
He prostrates himself beside the priest repeating this cry. Then the second priest says to the first priest while pointing at the janitor, “So, look who thinks their nobody!”
“ The Pharisee prayed, ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like everybody else. I thank you that I am not like that tax collector over there.” Luke 18:11
Results: God opposes and brings down the proud .
“God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6
“God brings down the proud and saves the humble.” Job 22:29
“ You cannot stand the sight of the proud” Psalm 5:5
Here’s an humorous illustration of how easily we can be prideful. It’s based off the biblical story of Palm Sunday where Jesus rides a donkey into Jerusalem before a cheering crowd. The story is a fictional look at the donkey’s response on Monday….
*The donkey awakened, his mind still savoring the afterglow of the most exciting day of his life. Never before had he felt such a rush of pleasure and pride
He walked into town and found a group of people by the well. “I’ll show myself to them,” he thought.
But they didn’t notice him. They went on drawing their water and paid him no mind.
“Throw your cloaks down,” he said crossly. “Don’t you know who I am?”
They just looked at him in amazement. Someone slapped him across the tail and ordered him to move.
“Miserable heathens!” he muttered to himself. “I’ll just go to the market where the good people are. They will remember me.”
But the same thing happened. No one paid any attention to the donkey as he strutted down the main street in front of the market place.
“The palm branches! Where are the palm branches!” he shouted. “Yesterday, you threw palm branches!”
Hurt and confused, the donkey returned home to his mother.
“Foolish child,” she said gently. “Don’t you realize that without him, you are just an ordinary donkey?”
Poor in Spirit
Qualities: Honesty, Dependence, and Humility
“I’m not OK, I need God”
“I’m spiritually bankrupt”
“I’m dependent on God”
“But the tax collector stood at a distance and would not even raise his face to heaven, but beat on his breast and said, ‘God, have pity on me, a sinner!’ Luke 18:13
Results: God helps and saves the humble.
“…the Kingdom of heaven belongs to them! “ Matthew 5:3
“You save those who are humble” Psalm 18:27
In the next post we’ll look at “How Humilty Increases My Happiness.”