Poor?

two year oldAs each of our children came along, we watched them each go through the different stages of development. One of the stages, which they hit at about 2 years of age, we called the “Me do!” stage. They wanted to do everything themselves, even if they weren’t able to yet. They also did a lot of repetitive and sometime annoying things at this stage; we figured they did some of these things just because they could, because there seemed no other good or observable reason.

In this way and many others our children with their stages and quirks made us wonder about ourselves as children of God and what He has to put up with from us. We realized that we all pretty much just start the “Me do!” thing at age two. As we get older, though we don’t seek to get our way in the same manner that a two-year-old does, we too often are still just as willful—sometimes even more so.

This is one of the things that makes it hard for people to become Christians, and that makes it hard to follow God once we are a Christians. We are used to seeking and finding how to get our own way. Then along comes Jesus!

Often because we’ve heard of something repeatedly or are completely familiar with its existence, we think we also know all about it.

Everyone who is a Christian has heard of the Sermon on the Mount. Though we have heard of it, has it ever made any difference in our lives? Or helped us to deal with the very real challenges of life? Or are we going on our merry—or sometimes not so merry—but still ever willful way?

The Sermon on the Mount is one of the most powerful sermons ever preached. Only because the One who was teaching was Emmanuel, “God with us” in HUMAN form. But with power! –And wisdom– And eternal perspective…

We know with our intellects that God is the answer to every question and in every circumstance, but how does this spiritual reality translate to help us in this visceral world we are also a part of?

We are continuing on our merry way, then (by the grace of God) life happens, we find ourselves adrift on the ocean. Suddenly we are seeing things in a whole different light. We are in new terrain—often scary terrain: terminal illness, life-changing accidents, loss of income, the devastation of war or terrorism, our own or others hurtful choices, and on and on.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:3 NIV). If you look up the word ‘poor,’ its meaning goes beyond not having what everyone else has, or continually struggling to get by day to day. This word as it was meant signified abject poverty, or being in a position of total reliance on someone else for one’s bare survival.

What did Jesus mean by poor? Do we think he meant those without money? (see Isaiah 51:1). Who is poor? Compared to God, all of us are wretched! What did Jesus mean by poor in SPIRIT? Do we acknowledge our poverty before God and our dependence on Him and what Jesus did for us? Is our attitude one of letting God be God, or are we still in the “Me do!” mode, trying to be our own God or someone else’s? How REAL do the words of Jesus get for us? Is it “Thy will be done”? or “Me do!”?

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One thought on “Poor?

  1. What a good reminder to give up trying to control everything and to depend on God. 🙂 Thank you for the encouragement! I really like how you used the analogy of toddlers to describe your point because I really love children and, also, it’s fitting because we are God’s children. Thank goodness that He is the perfect Father and draws us to himself even when we are stuck in our independent, rebellious ways! 🙂

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