“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3
Acknowledging our poverty in spirit is humility. It occurs when a man or woman realizes his or her own utter lack of resources to meet life and finds his or her strength in God. Such an attitude leads one away from attachment to things to attachment to God and heaven. The word for poor here means absolute, abject poverty. We can thus paraphrase the first Beatitude this way:
Blessed are those who have realised their own utter helplessness and inadequacy and who have put their whole trust in God. Such a person will humbly accept the will of God and thus become a citizen of the kingdom.
Christians especially in countries like Pakistan find this a great comfort, for the majority of them are road sweepers and do menial jobs that others will not do. They are denied better jobs often because they are illiterate. Their children have no access to higher education and so the cycle of poverty continues with little hope of a break. Surely this message is also for them. As they put their complete trust and hope in the Lord, they are assured of a place in the Kingdom of God.
A Chinese Christian woman, a leader in her church, was arrested and put in prison. Led of the Lord, she volunteered to do hard labour, cleaning the filthy prison cells on her knees. This humble work gave her opportunity to sing and share Jesus with the prisoners in each cell. Through her words and actions many prisoners came to know the Lord in a personal relationship.
RESPONSE: Today I acknowledge my helplessness and inadequacy and place my complete trust in God.
PRAYER: Lord, help me express true humility in practical ways today and show that my trust is in You alone.