A post from several years ago about being humble.
1Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: 3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:1-3
I am struggling to get started with this day’s devotional. Poor in spirit, what is that all about? What does that even mean? I am sitting here at my desk doing all sorts of things, listening to a podcast in iTunes, talking to people on facebook, sending e-mails, thinking about writing this, trying to decide what to write, but not actually writing anything down. So I googled poor in spirit. It returned over 69 million results in .15 seconds. As I searched through the results pages I also decided to look at the comments in my study Bible. As I did both of these things I started to realize why this is such a hard passage for me to digest. Being poor in spirit is all about being humble and not prideful. I am naturally very prideful. I may try to hide this fact at times in a sense to make people think the best about me, but this just increases my pride even more. This is a hard passage for me to grasp because it is so foreign to me.
Now I could be very wrong here but I think that possibly many of you also struggle with this issue. For those of us in the west it is a daily struggle. The American ideal is still the self-made man that does it all on his own and needs neither help nor assistance from any one. It is hard to not have a degree of personal pride in this culture. Does that make it ok? Not really. The culture into which Jesus first spoke these words had every reason in the world to be prideful. The Romans had conquered all of the known world and built a massive system of roads to connect it. They established the most representative form of government that existed until the late 18th century. These people had every reason to be overconfident in their abilities. Still though Jesus praises and extols those without pride.
I think it is very important for us in our day and age to recognize this and to drink in this truth. We also need to not just try and hide our pride and fake humility. That might be worse than open arrogance. How do we do this? I am by no means an expert here, but maybe we do it by getting as close to God as possible. The closer we get to see His grandeur and awesomeness, the less chance our pride has to rise.
Today leave His footprints by seeing just how amazing God is. Go outside and gaze into the open expanse of the skies, stare at the myriad of stars tonight, go for a walk or bike ride in the park and delight in what He has created. Do something today to see the grandness of Him and the smallness of ourselves.