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. Ameera says:

    Thank the Lord Jesus Christ he has come to earth to save all mankind from the destruction of sin, if he had never died on the Cross the human population would be doomed. Everyone seems to think that their riches are here on earth when in fact it’s in heaven.

    So many of us think of the here and now and not life after death, everything is temporary not lasting, but life after death is permanent in Heaven with our Lord Jesus Christ!!!!!

  2. David Hanna says:

    I liked the quick, concise, and biblical response to my question.

  3. Chin Edwin Nfon says:

    Satisfied with the answers from this media. THANK GOD.

  4. Azibato says:

    Thanks alot for the clarification. May God continually grow you in all wisdom. Amen!

  5. Emily Perkins says:

    Thank you so much for this enlightening. It helped me to understand what poor in spirit means. Thank you.