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. Deborah Thompson says:

    Thank you for the meaning.

  2. Robert Edwards says:

    Thank you for sharing the meaning like a bible study! I love seek more understanding about our Lord Jesus

  3. MaryAnn Gay says:

    Thank you. Using humble helped me to better understand poor in spirit.

  4. patricia panza says:

    I agree with “humble” but ….you really should study the mystics of all faiths…..seems you do not truly understand Spirit…..we are not born sinners…….God does not judge……please look deeper.

  5. Grimsley says:

    God bless. I learned a lot about being poor in spirit.

  6. Fitih says:

    It is worth reading this comment. But it was good if it is explained in detail. Thank You. For the other day please answer, ” If Jesus is God, why he died? ” why in the cross? And what happened to the universe when he is dead? Why he doesn’t know his own second coming? I am saying God should be all known and limitless. And the other thing is that, Jesus is ” father and God” to his GOD, if so; why we call Jesus God and and father? I need answer pls. I als need some thing about Trinity….we cant find in the bible we have verses instead…how? These and other questions must have answers.

    1. Pam says:

      We are born sinners. God does judge us but is merciful. According to His Word, the only chance we have to see the glory of His Kingdom is through the saving grace of Jesus Christ, both divine and man. To those who chose not to believe in Christ’s saving grace, all I can say is that we have choice and free will. The world is full of false beliefs because the world is a broken place. To receive the truth and receive God’s forgiveness through grace, one must become humble, brought low, before Him so that His Holy Spirit may fill that empty space in our souls. May you one day see His truth.