Today my Bible study had me looking at Matthew 5:3-5. This is part of the Sermon on the Mount.
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth."
This passage gave me a lot to think about and I thought I would share it. A warning: this is going to be a long post.
Per my physical needs, I have never been truly poor. Even at my lowest, I have always had a roof over my head, clothing to wear, and food to eat. I have not been on SSI because we had no money. I am on disability, but I am not poor. I have never needed food stamps.
However, I have been poor in so many other ways - mainly emotionally and spiritually. And some health issues thrown in for good measure. Emotionally - I was robbed of so much by Candace and other trials in my life. In so many different ways, I have been looking to fill a big void in my life. That brings me to spiritual poverty. That big void can only be filled by God. I am poor because I do not let Him in completely. I am poor because I have nothing good to offer God. Yet, I feel so incredibly rich for the blessings God has poured out on me. I am poor, but God shares His riches with me.
I definitely know what it is like to mourn over the losses and trials of my life. I often focus on the mourning too much and lose sight of God's comfort. As for my sin, I fear I don't mourn it as well as I mourn earthly losses. Well, sometimes I do, but nowhere near the mourning my sins deserve.
How do I mourn for my sins? I seems like it would be a different sort of mourning than earthly mourning. A rending of the heart? Digging deep inside and finding the true ugliness, looking at it honestly, and letting the sorrow over it be real. It looks like true confession and repentance. It is more than just crying. It is active mourning that spurs us to action to live as God would have us live.
Am I a meek person? I have no idea anymore. I have had to stand up for my kids, but I think I did it without being confrontational. Does that determine whether I am meek or not? I can be rather vocal about what I think/feel/believe about things - inappropriately at times. There I am often not meek, I fear. Am I humble? I think people would say so. Am I as humble as Jesus? Not a chance! What else goes with meek? Mild. Gentle. Forbearing.
Ah, forbearing, that's a good word. Not getting upset when people expect you too get upset. Handling tough times when an obvious peace that comes from God. I think sometimes I come real close to getting this "right." And other times, I be be mighty whiny. It give me something to work for. Something to talk to God about, confess my mistakes, ask for forgiveness and accept it, and then ask for help to do better.
How was Jesus meek and gentle? This brings up such a beautiful picture of Him welcoming children to him. It also brings to mind times when He was confronted by the Pharisees (or others). He was patient and answered with a wise word that silenced them. Another wonderful example is when a woman caught in adultery is dragged before Him for "sentencing." He told them, "If any of you is without sin, let Him be the first to throw a stone at her." They all left. After that, Jesus could have berated her for her sinful life. But He didn't do that. He let her go with: "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "God now and leave your life of sin."
Jesus' ultimate demonstration of meekness was when He was crucified on the cross for our sins. He had the power to stop it all, but He loved us and wanted to save us, so He went.
As my husband pointed out, these traits aren't something we can be perfectly as sinful human beings, but they give us something to work toward. So, we
Aim to remember that we are poor in spirit and look forward to Heaven.
We mourn our sins and are comforted by God that they are forgiven.
We strive to be meek - humble, gentle, and forbearing - and we wait for our inheritance.
I hope this look into the words poor, mourning, and meek has blessed you as it has blessed me. Please feel free to leave your own thoughts on this passage.