Matthew 5:2-5 The Be Attitudes: Poverty, Mourning, & Meekness
I feel ill-equipped to try and bring anyone the all-encompassing answers on what Jesus meant when He taught these attitudes. I was unable to find my workbook that I referenced in yesterday’s writings, so I turned to my other resources; my bible’s notes and Google. They provided me with a lot of answers in my search to understand what I’m reading. I’m going to share some direct quotes from my Google sources and links to the websites I found them on, in case you want to check them out too. So let’s dive into the deep end and trust God’s previous swimming lessons to get us safely back to shore.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven” (verse 3). Understanding what “poor in spirit” meant was the hardest one for me. Not the hardest to do, but initially unsure of the meaning. In searching Google, I found an article from the Billy Graham Organization that helped me understand the meaning of being poor in spirit. The article says that to be poor in spirit means to recognize one’s need for God.
“In other words, when we come to God, we must realize our own sin and our spiritual emptiness and poverty. We must not be self-satisfied or proud in our hearts, thinking we don’t really need God.”
These are definitely the ones God is building His Kingdom with. Without first recognizing one’s own poverty, acceptance of God’s richness and His desire to share that with us is impossible.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (verse 4). I understand the meaning of the word “mourn” but the experience of the word is so much more! I have never lost a close family member, as in a first generation relative. The closest I have come to this is when I miscarried during my second pregnancy. This was an aching I thought would go on forever. I am NOT in a hurry to experience human mourning on a deeper level. My heart grieves for those of you who have.
I believe the mourning referenced here includes mourning resulting from physical losses but more importantly, mourning over spiritual separation from God through sin. The deep grief we experience when we realize OUR actions have caused Him pain. “Does He still feel the nails every time I fail? Does He hear the crowd cry ‘crucify’ again?”
Thank God that He doesn’t leave us there in that place of mourning, but sends the Holy Spirit, His Comforter to us; in spiritual AND physical times of mourning.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (verse 5). I turned to Google again to ensure I understood the word “meek.” I visited the website “Theology of Work” and found this answer. “Meekness is power under control.”
“Power under God’s control means two things: (1) refusal to inflate our own self-estimation; and (2) reticence to assert ourselves for ourselves.”
My husband asked for a little clarification on point two here. I likened it to stepping on someone else’s back to get me to a higher place or position.
This site points to Moses’ and Jesus’ characters and how they conducted themselves. They were “meek” men but FAR from cowering in the corners or slinking through the corridors of life. They know their own strengths and weaknesses. Moses had weaknesses like the rest of us but Jesus willingly took on the weakness of humanity to bring us hope.
The inheritance of the earth may mean the eventual new earth or may refer to this present earth and achieving much here and now. Arrogant and pushy people may seem to get ahead but this success usually crumbles down around them in the end. Those who lead with meekness more often leave lasting legacies. I’ll leave you to come up with some examples of you own here. Everyone I think of has flaws like me, so I don’t feel qualified to render a judgement here.
We are going to break here simply for time sake. I am not ascribing a scriptural reason or connection between these first three, but I don’t want to become so long winded that the later scriptures get abbreviated attention.
God, Jesus’ first attitude of promise is easiest for me. I TRULY recognize that there is nothing in me that qualifies me to stand in Your presence. I am simply and completely unworthy. YOU, however, call me into Your presence and ask me to sit a while. YOU wash me and call me valuable. Of this alone I will boast.
I mourn when MY sins come between us. I am completely undone when we are apart. You made the way for me to be there in the first place. My actions tarnished and interfered with our relationship. Please Father, forgive me and restore a right heart in me. I’m SO sorry for causing You pain. I KNOW I have to change. I can’t do it on my own. Thank You for working in me to bring me to where You want me to be.
Father, I have a very hard time reconciling my opinions of my strengths and weakness against Your accounts of them. So often I see NO worth or ability in anything I do. Other times I feel I am being prideful or boastful. Help me see the talents You have placed in me in their proper light. Help me see myself as You see me. Help me walk in meekness. Power You placed in me (my talents) under Your control (acting in love for the benefit of others).
Thank You that no matter how many times I miss these standards set forth in Your word, that Your Son’s blood covers my shortcomings. ALL my sins are washed away! THANK YOU GOD! Help me walk in that knowledge, forever reminded of Who did the work to secure my right standing with You.
Victoria Nimmo Walters
March 3, 2016 @ 4:02 PM
Powerful reflections here, Annette. So much to comment on, but I’m going to focus in on just one:
I once heard evangelist Dennis Burke say that to understand “Poor in Spirit” we have to look at those who are completely impoverished in life. Not meaning those who simply don’t have everything they need, but the truly poor whose every waking hour is spent trying to find enough food to get them through until the next time hunger-pains grip their belly. He said that to be poor in spirit is to be so hungry for God that we are consumed with the pursuit of His Presence as the truly poor are for their daily bread.
Although I have experienced a couple of seasons in my life that I could call times of being poor in spirit, I have to admit that most of the time I take God’s presence in my life for granted, and thus, do not seek Him with a sense of desperation.
Lord, please forgive me. I long to hunger for you more than life itself.
March 3, 2016 @ 9:06 PM
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March 9, 2016 @ 2:11 AM
Incredible story there. What happened after? Take care!
March 14, 2016 @ 8:55 PM
I’m not sure what story you are asking for more detail about, but I would be willing to share if you tell me what you are referencing. I’m glad you enjoyed what you read here. I hope it blessed you and you found something you could take with you to think about later or your own life an relationship. Please join us any time. Thanks for stopping by.