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.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published but you will receive our next BGEA ministry update. You can opt out of future emails at any time.


  1. john kuku says:

    thank you very much for making me to understand about poor in spirit.God has used you to teach those who are far away from you. may the Holy Spirit lead you always.

  2. Alina says:

    Thank u what l read helped me. Didn’t know what is poor in spirit now l know. Regards

  3. Paulette Jenkins says:

    This was sooooo helpful. I got it now!

  4. Dale Cryan says:

    I would like to try this for increased knowlledge

  5. Durolaje Moses O. says:

    I am blessed by this comment/answer. More of God in Jesus name

  6. Archilles says:

    Quite spiritual and an eye openner .

  7. Ayeni Olanrewaju Lawrence says:

    Thanks, I do have understanding of Mathew 5:3 now