What is being poor? Can you really understand what is it like to be in a poor condition? Some of us may look up to other people and comparing ourselves, “He just bought a new BMW and I just ride a Kijang.” Then we suddenly feel “so poor.” Oh OK, let me give you a closer example. If you can read this writing, that means you own a computer or at least have access to the internet right?! Then you are richer than 4 billion people of the world. If so then I don’t think any of us can really understand the essence of being in a poor condition.
Almost all of us defining the word “poor” as lacking of material possessions, small in worthy, or relating it to poverty characterization. I come from a native Indonesian family where we could have a meager income out of our grandparents’ pension (my parents lived elsewhere) but still considered ourselves poor because I had to walk 2 kilometers to school since we didn’t own a car or even a bicycle. But we also considered ourselves lucky because we could eat rice everyday and had a “rumah gedong”, that is a house built of bricks that was considered a luxury in a Bogor “kampung” where most of the villagers lived in a “gedhek” mat huts. Materialism and life pressure had blocked our minds and forced us to measure our possessions based on worldly things.
Therefore it is interesting to understand the new meaning of poorness in God’s point of view. The poor stage doesn’t only happen when we lack of possessions. The new word “poor in spirit” that I learned today implies that we see in its true light the tendency in us to every thing evil and a realizing conviction of being shut up to the grace of God for help. He that is poor in spirit is experiencing a lowly heart that is opposite to the scornful and pride commonly found in rich people. Being poor in spirit opens up a new feeling of need in Christ and a desire to be submissive to God because without Him we will perish. Not only a sense of this dependence to Christ but a willingness to have it is implied. In short it is a correct view of our utterly helpless state, a realizing sense of that fact, and a disposition of soul corresponding to such views.
Now we come to God’s Word that explaining how lucky we are to be in that state:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 5:3)
Indonesian bible translated the word “blessed” as “berbahagia”, or happiness. However being blessed is far wider than just happy, because happiness is an emotion often dependent on physical circumstances. Blessed here refers to the whole well-being and distinctive spiritual joy of those who share in God’s salvation. Why are we blessed? Because the kingdom of God is within us and in we can have fullness by only putting our trust in Christ. In a modern world like this, human being is focused on worldly things and putting our best effort to achieve something great in life and using our sinful and narrow mind to reach them. However Christ has taught that being poor is not something to be afraid of in His vast glory, because being poor in spirit and constantly yearning to be submissive to God open up a new world of personal relationship with Him and a key to open up a “Day Care Center” of our faith. What Christ has promised is that being poor in spirit is actually being in a high spiritual state. It may be different than a spiritual phenomenon that some of christians adhere to; high spiritual state reveals the closeness of ourselves with our Creator and that nothing can substitute His love.
Yes, I want to learn this. I want to put the worldly things behind and set focus on needing Jesus only as He is the One that can fulfill my needs and shape my characters, made a new pearl out of a dirty stone.