Writer Mary Ruth Howes shares these insights.
“How do we grow into truly adult members of God’s family? We keep trying to whip ourselves into shape and to shame ourselves into doing better. But still we fail, we lapse into immaturity, always aware of our many faults.
“It seems to me that Jesus gives us the key to the kind of perfection He is looking for in this sentence in the book of Matthew: ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.’ The truly adult in God’s family are always honest about their failures and their lacks. ‘Blessed are those who feel their spiritual need,’ is another translation. To be perfect means to realize that we aren’t perfect, that we’re always falling short of God’s glory. We are always coming to God with our hands out, like beggars, which is the original meaning of the word translated ‘poor.’ We’re always saying, ‘I need your help, God. I’m not able to love like you, be truthful, cope with anger. I need more of your Spirit.’
Being a beggar in our society seems something to be despised. Today on the streets of New York, there are always homeless people asking for handouts. And the same people! One woman is always by the main library.
For over a year, a giant of a man, standing motionless with his cupped hands extended and his eyes down, always waited for homebound commuters going into Grand Central Station. ‘Why the same people all the time?’ I ask myself. I find it frustrating that their situations don’t improve. And I don’t want to give them anything because they are at their begging.
But now, in their very persistence, I see what my Father wants from me. I’m always in need of God’s Spirit. As long as I realize that and keep my hands out, I’m not only part of God’s family, but, as Barclay puts it, ‘the blessings of the Kingdom of Heaven’ are mine ’here and now.’”
Our Father loves us and gives us all access to the family wealth and to the Spirit who helps us grow like Him.
And that’s Good News You Can Use!