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. Gracie kellock says:

    Need to read this over and over. Thank you for explaining it in simple terms so that I could understand it.

  2. Dacosta says:

    “Seek ye the kingdom of God and his righteousness and All these shall be added unto you. I asked what and where the kingdom is and how to seek the it. With your explanation I have gotten a key on how to get the kingdom. A Humble in spirit. A yearning for purity is key to the kingdom. Thanks very much

  3. Rosemary Wambui says:

    Very helpful to me. I feel blessed. Thanks alot I dont know the meaning of being poor in spirit and now I know.

  4. Jennifer Wegley says:

    Thank you. I understand the verse now.

  5. Susan Shepherd says:

    Very enlighting

  6. Deji Sotannde says:

    Am saying a very big thank for your explanation of this wonderful verse of the scripture “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” Matthew 5:3. I came across it while studying my daily devotion but couldn’t really get the biblical interpretation of it, but for you to expatiate it this way on your blog, i was able to figure it out. Thank you once again. Remain bless IJN.

  7. Arturo Diaz Jr. says:

    praise GOD

  8. Sheila Padgett says:

    Thank you for the explanation, I’ve never really understood that verse.

  9. Oladipo Victor says:

    Am inspired

    1. Mrs House says:

      Encouraged knowing I am accepted.