Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Question: What does “poor in spirit” mean?
Answer: If we do not have enough of something we need, we might think of ourselves as poor. It means “to lack.” We might feel poor, or in poverty, if we do not have enough money, a job, a home, nice toys, gadgets, or friends.
However, this first Beatitude does not speak of material poverty. It speaks of the poverty of the things of Spirit. If we lack spiritual substance — those qualities and ideas that come from God — we
are truly poor. Often, we do not realize that we are “poor in spirit” until something happens in our lives that we cannot handle alone, or in our usual way. We are forced to turn to God for help.
That is good. It brings a reward!
People often spend their lives putting their faith in things besides God: money, family ties, personal intelligence or abilities, popularity, bodily health, pride of race, or personal possessions.
But, is this what Jesus taught? No. He taught us to look to God first for our happiness, and not to depend solely on our personal resources: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Mary Baker Eddy gives us an idea about what some of those riches are: “What we most need is the prayer of fervent desire for growth in grace, expressed in patience, meekness, love and good deeds.” (S&H 4)
Practice: Think about what you have been wishing for lately. Is there a spiritual gift that would be better for you?
[Note: To print out image below, which is from the original book, click on the image, save to your computer, and print out]
(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume Two: The Beatitudes” Copyright 2002)