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. Babatunde sunday says:


  2. Chinyeaka says:

    Thanks. I am relieved

  3. Awoyele Paul says:

    I Really Appreciate It,i Felt Happy Wen I Red It And I Got D Meaning Frm U

  4. Miss Naa Quartey Abigail says:

    This very helpful thank you

  5. Ralph Beach says:

    This was very helpful, thank you.

  6. Karen Shipley says:

    Bless you

  7. Mary O says:

    Humility is the perfection of love. It is the Reign of God; the Mustard Seed; the smallest of seeds yet when full grown becomes the largest of shrubs. See how Jesus is so loved and revered for over 2000 years. Humility unlike pride has the ability of infiltrating even the hardest of hearts. Pride on the other hand while at first feels as a warm blanket ends up smothering hearts. Humility and pride can have no share in a same given moment or space in time, just as Heaven vs Hell; our choice.

  8. Blaine Pinaire says:

    Thanks so much for this site. I have begun to use the internet when I am confused by scripture and I know I can trust Rev. Graham’s words. I have known people who know Rev. Graham and they described him as truely humble. This scripture fits him wonderfully. Blaine Pinaire

  9. David says:

    Thank you this answer helps me out to understand one of the beatitudes

  10. Karin says:

    Thank u.