JAVA WITH JOE presents
the view from the bottom
10 days of digging into the beatitudes
Detached > Depressed
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
When we don’t understand something, we tend to either wrestle with it until we ‘get it’, or we ignore it. If you’re like me, you’ve largely ignored the beatitudes - not to purposefully reject Christ’s words for your life, but because they’re difficult to understand, let alone apply.
This first beatitude is a prime example. Surely Jesus doesn’t want us to be sad and mope around all of the time. I don’t want to leave a room and hear people say about me, “Wow, that Dom is one poor-spirited guy!”
However, maybe we’ve been looking at it wrong. What if to be poor in spirit is less about being depressed and more about being detached?
Jesus was speaking to an audience who would’ve understood being ‘blessed’ as being wealthy, and one who clings to their blessings is clinging to their wealth, counting their gold coins, and letting their joy rest in their worldly treasure.
But one who is poor in spirit is aware of their smallness. Aware of their weakness. Aware of their poverty, their frailty, their dependence on God. This isn’t supposed to come from a place of self-hate, but rather humility.
Jesus is teaching us that only someone who knows and embraces how lowly they are can be lifted high.
As you go throughout your day, remember that Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world (Jn 18:36). His kingdom, and the treasure that awaits us, is so far beyond what this world could contain. No one will get to Heaven and think back with FOMO on what they had on Earth.
Those who are detached from the world, who are mindful of their smallness, and who trust in God are truly blessed - experiencing a joy and peace that go beyond the superficial. Jesus promises them the kingdom of Heaven. How can you and I decide, today, to be among the poor in spirit?
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