Blessed are the poor…say what!? Does God want me to be poor?
When I first came across the teachings of Jesus I honestly thought, “Man, some of these concepts are challenging.” I had lofty dreams of doing a lot of things, including becoming rich. I wanted the American dream, the white picket fence, sexy wife, kids running around, nice home and car etc. I was putting in the work every day to try and accomplish some of these goals. Then as I was reading as a new Christian, I come across this verse in Matthew.
Matthew 5:1-3- When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are the POOR!?!? I had to really understand this a bit better. Does God want me to be poor? I had done a bit of research and came to this alarming conclusion. There is a major difference between poor in spirit and poverty. God does not want us in poverty, but we HAVE TO crucify and separate our desires to want materialistic things. So much, to the point where it does not affect us. Where we become generous givers and lovers of people before things.
What does poor mean?
The word poor in Greek is the word ptōchos. This word means “reduced to beggary, begging, asking alms”. I was stunned…but then I saw the root word…ptosso. This means “to crouch, akin to, humble”. The light bulb went off. Jesus is trying to get us to a point to be relentless and generous in our giving. That we utterly and completely separate our desires off of the things of this world, to the things of God. Too much of our time, energy and focus is spent on achieving things that we will lose one day. Possessions can be the biggest distraction to our walk and calling with God.
1 Timothy 6:10- For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
The love of possession, power, and money goes all the way back to the Old Testament. Many times it is our possessions and our pursuit of them that sidetrack us and distract us from the things of God.
Matthew 19:24- Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
So what is the point of all of this? The point is that your security needs to be entrusted in one thing…Jesus. Does God want me to be poor? No, and He will supply every need and many times over gives us in abundance. God gives generously to those who give generously. When you understand the power of being a vessel, God will just continue to fill you up!