What do You Want Me to Be?

Kristyn Berry, Volunteer Writer, Crystal Lake | February 8, 2024

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 5:3

”Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 5:10 

As children, we are often asked what we want to be when we grow up. As adults, it can be amusing to hear their imaginative responses, and how their dreams evolve as they grow older.  My son is nearing his seventeenth birthday and discussions of his future are front and center these days. His dreams have changed many times throughout the years, and more recently, he is responding with shrugs and “I don’t know.” I empathize with his waffling, as I remember being his age and feeling overwhelmed with determining my life’s divine purpose from seemingly endless possibilities.  So, for now, I’ve encouraged him to pray on it, to be still, and listen to what God puts on his heart. No matter how big or small the dream, be confident this is where God is guiding you.

What a blessed reminder we have in these verses in Matthew, that ultimately God’s dream for our life is simple. Jesus begins His Sermon on the Mount with a counter-cultural statement that challenges the world’s understanding of our life’s purpose. Instead of associating our life’s purpose with big dreams of wealth, success, or power, Jesus declares that the “poor in spirit” and those who are “persecuted for their righteousness” are the blessed ones.

Jesus often emphasizes the significance of humility and the pursuit of righteousness in the Kingdom of God. To be “poor in spirit” is to recognize our spiritual poverty and dependence on God. It’s an acknowledgment that, apart from God, we have nothing of eternal value. This humility before God opens the door to true blessing. When we humble ourselves before Him, acknowledging our need for Him, we position ourselves to receive His grace and favor. True blessedness is found not in self-sufficiency, but in recognizing our reliance on God’s mercy.

The promise attached to being “poor in spirit” is profound—”for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Embracing our spiritual poverty leads to the inheritance of the greatest treasure imaginable—the kingdom of heaven. This speaks not only of a future reality but a present experience of God’s reign in our lives.

Take a moment to reflect on your heart posture. Are you aware of your need for God in every aspect of your life? Cultivate a “poor in spirit” attitude through regular self-examination, confession, and a continual surrender of your will to God.

Living as “poor in spirit” may seem counter-cultural in a world that often values self-sufficiency and pride. Yet, Jesus invites us to a different way of living—one that finds fulfillment and blessing in our dependence on Him.

Next Steps

As you go about your day, consider the beauty of being “poor in spirit.” It’s an invitation to experience the richness of God’s kingdom, both now and in eternity. May your humility before God lead to a life marked by His abundant blessings.