Are you the “poor in spirit” that Jesus calls blessed?

I got out of my car and hugged my friend.  No, it was more than a hug…it was an strong embrace, and I didn’t want it to ever end.  I typically don’t enjoy hugs (it’s a sensory thing) but on this night, I needed her hug.  I needed the strength of my friend to hold the broken pieces of my life together.  I needed the strength of her spirit to communicate with mine that it all was going to be okay.

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As I reflected on that moment, I felt bad.  The enemy came in with lies and accusations and condemnation.  “You are always needy!  You always need your friends to be strong for you but you are rarely strong for your friends.  You have no control over your emotions. You are not emotionally stable!”  And for the most part, it was true.  I have a lot of good days, but many days, I feel insecure, worried, and flat-out scared.  I may appear to be joyful and strong and confident, but inside, I’m often a mess.

Bless my heart.

I meditated on my apparent failure to be a strong and emotionally stable human like everyone else that I know.  I have friends that parent eleven children (yes, eleven) and I struggle to keep an even tone of voice with two.  I know women who negotiate powerful business deals without batting an eye and I’m afraid to confront a woman who hurt my feelings.  I know women who are always praying and supporting others, and I’m the one constantly in need of prayer and support.

Why can’t I do this Christian life with the trust and confidence and strength that I see in scriptures and in the lives of my friends?

Can you relate?

Are your friends all busy serving the Lord while you struggle just to get out of bed?
Are you expected to have it all together when your life is falling apart at the seams?
Are you afraid to let people know the true thoughts of your heart?
Are you certain you will be rejected if people knew what really goes on in your house?
Are you the one who always needs to lean on your friends?
Do you ride an emotional roller coaster?  Up one day and down the next?

Help us, Jesus, right?  And bless our hearts, too.

As I struggled with my apparent failure to live up to expectations, a short little verse came to my mind, one that is often overlooked because we don’t think it should apply to us, strong Christian women that we are:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs in the kingdom of heaven.  Matthew 5:3

And I thought, “That’s me!  Jesus is talking about me!  I, Lisa Morgan Moore, am the poor in spirit.”

When you study this scripture in the original Greek, the word “poor” translates to
destitute, bankrupt, needy, and powerless.   Spirit refers to the power by which we
do things.

I love how author Kyle Idleman expounds on this scripture in his book The End of Me,

“Blessed are those who are bankrupt in spirit.”
“Blessed are you when you are so broke you have nothing to offer.”

He goes on to say, “…The conventional wisdom of pretty much everywhere tells us to radiate self-confidence, self-sufficiency.  In short, rich in spirit…Jesus says the kingdom begins with taking inventory and coming up with zero.”

I think he hit the nail on the head.  Some days you may have something to offer, but some days your spirit may be bankrupt.    It’s hard to be strong for others, to keep your emotions in check, and not to be a ball of nerves when life hits you with challenge after challenge. It’s difficult to serve your family and be in ministry when you are just trying to hold yourself together.

The good news, though, is that Jesus did not condemn us, the poor in spirit.   NO!  He said blessed, or happy, are the bankrupt in spirit, the needy, the ones who are powerless.  Jesus did not upbraid the needy but he pronounced a blessing over their brokenness.

Why are they happy?  For theirs is the kingdom of God.  I don’t fully understand what that means, but it sounds good!

We, the poor in spirit, are blessed.  Our hearts are truly blessed.  We may not be strong, or have perfect faith, or be emotionally stable, but we are blessed.  Jesus said it, so let’s believe it.  We are not defective because we are poor in spirit, but we are blessed.  That’s good news.  It’s ok to be poor in spirit.  WHEW!

So take a deep sigh, and relax, because Jesus said you are ok…even if you are
bankrupt in spirit.  Thank you, Jesus.

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