Poor in a Good Way

Chic Broersma

READ : Luke 16:19-31

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matt. 5:3)

The poor in spirit are those who make no claims on God. Their theme song would be, “Nothing in my hands I bring, simply to thy cross I cling . . . wash me Savior or I die.” If we think God owes us something, we’re not yet poor in spirit. The truly humble, whether they have bulging wallets or only pocket change, throw themselves on God’s mercy for their salvation. Bottom line: the gospel is not for the self-sufficient and proud.

We spend time, energy, and money to compile impressive resumes. We study hard, get our degrees, land important jobs, earn good salaries, and serve our community in various ways. We may even give back to our community through foundations or institutions established in our names.

To study and work hard is good. To do charitable acts is needed and right. It’s nice to be honored by a community. But if your goal is to impress others, you can forget about being blessed by God. In the parable Jesus told of the rich man and Lazarus, the word translated “beggar” is the identical word translated “poor” in Matthew 5:3. The beggar was destitute, poverty-stricken. He was without resources. His act of begging was demeaning. He held out one hand hoping to catch some change. With his other hand he covered his face, hoping to go unrecognized.

David wrote, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” (Ps. 34:18).


Lord, forgive my foolish pride.