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Spiritual Beggars

Imagine you’re asked to play the board game Monopoly. Before beginning, at the roll of the die, one player will receive certain advantages including twice the starting money. Who do you think will win?

Based on a study, the players given the advantages won. No surprise there. But when asked why they won, the answers were surprising. Most referred to their abilities and skills.

No one admitted the real reason was chance, the roll of the die.

Last week I started studying the Beatitudes and it reminded me about the Monopoly study. Matthew 5:3 says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” The Contemporary English Version puts it this way: “God blesses those people who depend only on him. They belong to the kingdom of heaven!”

“Depend only on him.”

Religion, good causes, and a slew of other things can be tools to promote ourselves. Our actions may appear commendable, but our motivation is pride. We use self-effort to be good enough. In the process, we are guilty of not depending only on him.

Perhaps that's why the Beatitudes begin with, “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” Favored are the ones who realize they have no resources on their own. They are destitute. They are literally beggars in their spirit. If they win the Monopoly game, they freely admit it was due to the advantages given, not because of their accomplishments and inherent goodness.

Because I want to learn more about these attitudes that Christ commends, I am memorizing and meditating on Matthew 5: 3-12.

Will you join me on an adventure? Would you be willing to memorize these ten versus by Valentine's Day? Or by the end of February? Let’s see how God uses this passage in our hearts to relate to others in love.

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