"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven." This phrase is from the Beatitudes in Matthew 5. What do you think it's supposed to mean? This is one of the first things Jesus says to a crowd, and arguably one of the most important. You've certainly heard it many times before, but I'd like to put a different twist on how this verse is normally interpreted.
Does this mean we have to be poor to blessed? I would say, absolutely not. That's not even the point. Our natural inclination is to look at this externally. I have to be poor and I must give away everything I have. It's a state of what I do or do not posesses. If it were only that easy! Our greatest struggles in life are not external but internal. What we believe about ourselves, the ringing voices of what everyone else has said about us, and the value we place on our calling. These are called internal messages and that's where the real battle occurs.
Jesus never tells us to despise ourselves. He doesn't ask us to grovel and waller in pity. It's not His way. Quite the opposite, in fact. He revealed to us the worth of an individual. To be created in God's image meant that we have immeasurable worth, infinite possibilities, and a glorious destiny - no matter who you are. A child in an orphanage, a beggar on the street, or a wealthy entrepreneur.
The key is to know who we are and what we are capable of, in spite of our current circumstances. We must live by faith and 'fully alive' as it says in John 10:10. But the enemy of our souls has destroyed the lives of countless people because he has convinced them they are worthless. Alone, abandoned, without purpose and destiny - all lies. The truth is that this is the only weapon he has against us. Lies, false accusations, and the negative voices in our heads. It's how we are cheated out of our potential.
It's also how orphans are enslaved to a life of destruction. Cursed by society and led to believe a lie about their future, they are destined to be nothing more than a horrible statistic.
Jesus says something so much different. They have infinite worth and value because they are God's children. And you and I have the keys to remove the lies and break the curse in order to set them free.
"I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 Mary, Jesus' mother, also felt overlooked and unimportant. That is, until she realized who she really was and that the life she was living was only the beginning. May today be our 'annunciation' and my God use us to announce the truth of freedom to 'the least of these,' so they will never be the same.