Spiritual Destitution

By: Woody Godbey

He opened His mouth and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
— Matthew 5:2-3

I love reading the sermon on the mount. The sermon that Jesus preached that day was a shotgun sermon that hit just about everything in life. The sermon starts off with the beatitudes. When Jesus said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit," the word poor that He used is a verb meaning "to shrink, cower, or cringe." It describes a person who is destitute or someone who is completely dependent on others for help.

Don’t miss this, Jesus didn't just say, "Blessed are the poor." He said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit." Jesus was not addressing a person's economic situation but their spiritual condition. Don’t miss what Jesus is saying. Blessed, or happy, is the person who recognizes his or her spiritual poverty apart from God. Happy is the man or woman who sees what they really are in God's sight, lost, hopeless, and helpless.

Listen folks, apart from Jesus Christ, everyone is spiritually poor. Regardless of our education, accomplishments, or religious knowledge, we are all spiritually destitute. We’ve probably all been guilty at one time or another looking at someone in prison or the down-and-outer or the drug addict and think, now there is someone who is spiritually destitute. Then we look at ourselves. Maybe we have lived a relatively refined life. Maybe we have a good education or have accomplished certain things. We say, "I am not as destitute as that person." In one sense, that may be true. But in another sense, it isn't true at all. Before God, all people are spiritually destitute and unable to help themselves.

Some people have a hard time admitting this. It's difficult for some people to acknowledge that they need to reach out to God, and they need His forgiveness. But the truth is, if we want to be forgiven, if we want to be happy, then we must humble ourselves and admit our need. God Bless!