Blessed are the Poor in Spirit

Posted on 12.12.2012

One morning as I was sitting at my desk in my office, I was listening to one of my favorite Bible teachers on the radio. I was intrigued by the topic: one of the Beatitudes. This one was “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3). As I listened, I was not prepared to take any notes, but as I waited to serve my first patient of the day, I grabbed an index card and wrote down the main points that I could glean from listening. After I had the opportunity to listen to most of the message, I put the index card away in a prominent place in my desk drawer. I could see it each time I opened my drawer.

Up until this writing, I had been a little afraid to face all that I heard in that message. It was a powerful one. It was one of those messages that made me want to totally abandon everything about me at once! I imagined myself leaving my life as I know it: I imagined myself selling all of my clothes and shoes. I would, then, put on a robe and sandals, pick up my big cross and start walking everywhere to follow the Lord and tell others about Jesus! I must admit, I often feel desperate in my desire to follow the Lord and to live in Him. I feel so thirsty to know Him more especially after reading the notes on that card. For, they remind me of my shortcomings in my quest to follow Christ daily and moment-by-moment. This message reminds me of my unsettling need to truly abide in Him. I want to share the notes from this card:

  • To be poor in spirit, one must lose “self” and be weaned from the “self” and focus on others.
  • One must gaze upon Christ and be lost in the wonder of Christ.
  • One must never complain. Instead, have grace to share in difficult situations rather than complain.
  • One should espouse the excellencies of others and be always aware of one’s own weaknesses.
  • One must spend much time in prayer, and always ask for God’s grace.
  • One must take Christ on His own terms and not on one’s own terms.
  • One must be willing to give up anything for Christ. Let God prosper by asking,” What will Thou have me to do?”
  • One must praise and thank God for His grace with overwhelming gratitude. Be filled with thanks because everything comes from God.

This Beatitude is the first one and provides the basis for the rest. We are to be poor and humble, starving the flesh! To be honest, none of us wants to deprive ourselves of anything. We want what we want. However, following Christ means that we must become “poor” and abandon the “me” syndrome and serve others.

I am challenged each day to remember this. I am sure that is why I never threw that card away. I kept it in my desk so that I could be reminded of what is important: to be poor in spirit here and now. The Kingdom of God will be mine with its great reward in the life ahead.