A Good Poverty

feet-washingIn trying to find inspiration for a post tonight, despite being in a somewhat funky state of mind, I lighted upon chapter 5 of the Gospel of Matthew, where Jesus lays out the eight Beatitudes as the kickoff for his Sermon on the Mount.

I realized, for the first time and with much embarrassment, that I haven’t really read the Beatitudes closely enough, because the first one threw me off.

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

First thing I keyed in on was the word “poor,” but that probably has a lot to do with finding out today that one of the few clients who gives me monthly work is cutting me back to every other month.

Next I looked at the whole phrase poor in spirit, and I couldn’t figure out why that would be a good thing. I’ve been born again for years, I’m a deacon, and I had no clue what the hell “poor in spirit” was supposed to be. It sure sounds like not having faith or letting things get you down.

So, I did a little quick research, and learned that poor in spirit basically means humility.

One site I found discussing the Beatitudes put it this way:

Humility is the realization that all your gifts and blessings come from the grace of God. To have poverty of spirit means to be completely empty and open to the Word of God. When we are an empty cup and devoid of pride, we are humble. Humility brings an openness and an inner peace, allowing one to do the will of God.

Well, I’m not liking the financial constipation I’m currently enduring, but I am wishing I had a bit more of the kind of poverty noted above. Because as humble as I may think I am, I’m clearly not humble enough yet.

3 thoughts on “A Good Poverty

  1. Big Man

    I was reading this passage recently and wondered the same thing. It seems weird that Jesus would say poor in spirit instead of meek, which he uses later.

  2. Deacon Blue

    That’s a good point. I wonder if “poor in spirit” is more of a humility toward God and His will…while meekness is more a humility toward our fellow humans.


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