By   •   September 1, 2004   •   Topics:


What does it mean to be poor in spirit, as Jesus said we ought to be? I don't understand this, because it seems to me that we ought to strive to be rich in spirit, not poor. Or am I missing the point?


Your confusion is understandable; after all, the Bible does warn us against being empty and impoverished in our souls, and urges us to seek spiritual riches instead. Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).

But Jesus also said that there is another kind of spiritual poverty—one we should seek. He said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3). What did He mean? Simply this: We must be humble in our spirits. If you put the word “humble” in place of the word “poor,” you will understand what He meant.

In other words, when we come to God, we must realize our own sin and our spiritual emptiness and poverty. We must not be self-satisfied or proud in our hearts, thinking we don’t really need God. If we are, God cannot bless us. The Bible says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6).

Pride can take all kinds of forms, but the worst is spiritual pride. Often the richer we are in things, the poorer we are in our hearts. Have you faced your own need of Christ? Do you realize that you are a sinner and need God’s forgiveness? Don’t let pride or anything else get in the way, but turn to Christ in humility and faith—and He will bless you and save you.

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  1. Judy Owens says:

    Thank you this article have helped me alot.

  2. Festus Uchenna says:

    Thank you so much for making it more clear to me about being poor in the Spirit, i pray GOD help us all to adhere to his word AMEN

  3. Conrad Rudolph Lamptey says:

    Thank you for the explanation.Really appreciate it.

  4. Esther Thomas says:

    God bless and increase you for this explaination

  5. Carlene English-Chisholm says:

    I am currently not serving the lord but i want to take that first step. My job is preventing me from going to church or seeing my children.

    1. Jake says:

      Come as you are and he will take you in! “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” God bless you

    2. Mark says:

      I hope you have had good responce to this post. I would have liked to have seen it before now. You have taken the first step on a wonderful life long journey by your admittance of your desire to follow Jesus our Lord. I pray you have taken the next step of asking Jesus to fill your heart with the Holy Spirit of His. Simply asking for Jusus to forgive your past is simply done. What happens next is your being filled with His Spirit, and the beginning of your eternal life with Jesus. Pray to Jesus about your situation and believe He will answer. Expect changes at work and home. Praise Him daily for what happens. Pursue God and He’ll wait on you. Be Blessed!

  6. l nyabepu says:

    Thank u so much

  7. Leonard Mbuyane says:

    Thank you for the clarity on spiritual poverty. May the Lord keep the spiritual door of wisdom open, for us to learn more and more. Thank you.