25 September 2010

Enriching Poverty of Spirit

In conversation, the disciple who is truly poor in spirit always leaves the other person feeling, My life has been enriched by talking with you. This is neither false modesty nor phony humility. His or her life has been enriched and graced. He is not all exhaust and no intake. . . . He listens well because he knows he has so much to learn from others. The poor in spirit . . . get along well with sinners.
--Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel (Multnomah 2005), 81


Anonymous said...

Always? Doesn't the poor in spirit...realize how great his spiritual poverty...without God and His ways, His very Life coming through? So then...those who feel their life enriched...would be those who hunger, likewise, after God and His ways? Come to think of it, Paul said, "When God...was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him..." Gal. 1:15,16 So then, those who would feel enriched by us, and we by them...those we have so much to learn from, and they, us...are those who treasure the ways of God, and God's life, Word and ways, coming in and through a life? But then...there are others whose flesh would not feel especially "enriched" by the things of God, those not truly "poor in spirit." Just reflecting on the quote in light of scriptures I open to:
"You cast my words behind you. If you see a thief you are pleased with him, and you keep company with adulterers."


Dane Ortlund said...

Sorry Martha, not following you on this one...

Anonymous said...


The distinction I see is this: in Psalm 50 the sinners are quite comfortable with one another, and seem to get along very well. Too well, in fact, it seems for God, in this way: they truly do not recognize their poverty of spirit. If they did, they would seek God: "Mark this, then, you who forget God." And if they did...recognize their poverty of spirit, and seek Him, He says, "Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you." Differing from a false humility, that says that it is in poverty without God...and yet then refuses to seek him.
Contrast this comfortable-with-sin view to the heart of Paul, who loved so greatly that it cost him dearly, yet said, "So I made up my mind that I would not make another painful visit to you. 2 For if I grieve you, who is left to make me glad but you whom I have grieved? 3 I wrote as I did so that when I came I should not be distressed by those who ought to make me rejoice. I had confidence in all of you, that you would all share my joy. 4 For I wrote you out of great distress and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to grieve you but to let you know the depth of my love for you. 2 Cor 2:1-4 (NIV)
Paul...made up his mind to not make another "painful visit." Why would it be painful? Because he loved truly, and would speak the truth in love...

grace and peace,