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Your email address will not be published but you will receive our next BGEA ministry update.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. Lori says:

    Well said, I understand now:-) Be blessed!!!

  2. denora says:

    I totally agree with your comment.

  3. Judith says:

    I agree with the explanation given about the scripture. I too was often confused about it. Thanks for the clarification.

  4. Peter Samson says:

    Thank you very much. may the Lord bless you richly for this wonderful explanation. I was also confused when I read this verse, but my soul if lifted now when explained. The Bible is so complete and God cannot be a confusionist. Once again, thank you.

  5. Richard Brodit says:

    Praise God😀

  6. Dillan says:

    This really helped. I’m writing down a lesson and I had to be able to explain it. That and I didn’t know what he meant.

  7. Valerie murray says:

    Thank you so much for your help Blessed are the poor in Spirit for there’s is the Kingdom. A clear understanding for that scripture the word of God for me.Amen God Bless You My Brother in Christ.