Blessed. It is a hashtag trend that always makes me stop. We want to be blessed and often, we smile and #blessed when posting pictures of idyllic families, perfect views, or smiling people.
But Jesus had a lot to say about blessings and, it didn’t have a lot to do with our circumstances, but our state of heart.
And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. – Matthew 5:2-3, ESV
Blessed are the poor in spirit.
I don’t want to be poor in spirit. I want to be arrogantly self-assured. Instead of humbling admitting I’m at the end of my rope, that I’ve lost control, I want to share a polished, beautiful piece of art, not the busted state of my sinful heart.
But Jesus didn’t say blessed are those who house lavish, estates for hearts with room for others and perfect advice, He said blessed are the poor in spirit.
What does it look like to live with a spirit that is poor? Is that even something I want in my life?
Often, we talk about the riches that are ours in Christ but we gloss over passages like this and theorize away what it means to be poor in spirit.
But the Kingdom of God doesn’t belong to those with perfect theology, it belongs to the poor in spirit.
So maybe, just maybe, this deserves a bit more of our attention.
Blessed am I, not when I have an Instagram perfect moment with my Bible and my coffee, but when I’m crying on my kitchen floor because things didn’t work out the way I wanted them to.
Blessed am I, not when I share an exciting announcement on Facebook, but when I’m crying out again to God because my heart is broken over a baby that isn’t coming.
I am blessed, not in the moments when I feel worthy, but in the moments when I feel certain that I am desperately unworthy.I am blessed, not in the moments when I feel worthy, but in the moments when I feel certain that I am desperately unworthy. #blessed #PoorInSpirit Click To Tweet
When we are poor in spirit, when we know the true state of ourselves, we are blessed.
The broken are not rejected by God, but instead, we are blessed by Him.
The Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are poor in spirit.
What if, instead of fawning over the lives of those who see to be “blessed” by the lives we desire, we looked to those who are at the end of their rope, who are broken and crushed and poor in spirit and reminded them that the Kingdom of Heaven was theirs?
Because the Kingdom of Heaven is not for those of us who are pretending to be good but for those who see how terribly dreadful we are on our own and cry out to the only one who can bring shalom to the splinter bits of our heart.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. – Psalms 34:18, ESV
When we are crushed, God is near to us. When the charms of this world have all failed us and we have no place to go, the Kingdom of Heaven is what we long for. Our hearts mimic Christ’s when we are broken and crying out to God as He did on the cross. Instead of shying away from the pain of this world, let us embrace it as a reminder that this world is not our home. And then, let us embrace the Kingdom to come, the Kingdom that Christ said was ours.The Kingdom of Heaven is for those who cry out to the only one who can bring shalom to the splinter bits of our heart. #Blessed #PoorInSpirit Click To Tweet
May we embrace, anew each day, poverty of spirit.
Let us not think of ourselves more highly than we ought to but may we look instead to the example of John the Baptist who, though he was tasked with baptizing Christ, said he was unworthy to even unite Christ’s sandals. He knows where His spirit stood in comparison to God, He knew the poverty in his own heart, and used him as the spokesperson for the coming Kingdom.
Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.
But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted. – Luke 18:10-14, ESV
Instead of boasting, instead of trusting in the goodness or our good reputation, may we fall on our face before our Maker asking for His mercy on our sinful lives.
For if we are that person, we are a person who is blessed.
Because we know, not only the truth about ourselves but the truth that our God is merciful to those who call upon His name.Jesus did not come for those who had it together, but for those who desperately need to be held together in His loving arms. Click To Tweet
Jesus did not come for those who had it together, but for those who desperately need to be held together in His loving arms.
If that is you, then do not despair, but turn to your loving Father, trusting in His saving grace and merciful kindness.
You are blessed. Not because you have it together, but because you know you don’t. And because there is one who does. His Kingdom is for those who are poor in spirit but have experienced the abundance of His mercy.