Spiritual blindness is a spiritual state of unconsciousness in which a person is unable to perceive himself as God sees him. Spiritual poverty occurs when a person is wealthy in terms of money and worldly belongings yet spiritually poor.
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The Church at Laodicea was wealthy, but they were so self-satisfied that they didn't realize the presence of Christ had left themthe primary cause of spiritual poverty. Rather, they were taken away, eaten up, and pleased by the world's fleeting pleasures to the point where they were oblivious to God's offer of enduring pleasure and contentment. As a result, they became lukewarm in their commitment to God. They were spiritually blind since they were in such a deep, miserable spiritual state and didn't recognize or see it. It also emphasizes that there is a link between spiritual poverty and spiritual blindness: when someone is spiritually poor but doesn't realize it, he is also spiritually blind.
The status of the Laodicea Church, in general, accurately depicts the state of the Church and the world today. Material possessionsmoney, goods, wealth, and earthly treasureshave come to define wealth in technologically and scientifically advanced countries. They've entirely lost sight of the true definition of poverty, as well as any lack of desirable things that make up wealth. They only associate poverty with a lack of belongings or money. As a result, their notion of poverty is flawed from the start, and as a result, it is a form of poverty in and of itself. These countries, like Laodicea, are proud of their accomplishments, confident in their wealth and false spiritual standing. All kinds of evil were infiltrating the Church at the time, but they were too blind to recognize until the Spirit of God abandoned them. Today, the Church has been infiltrated by every sort of wickedness, and its teachings and practices have been tainted.
What is a spiritual poverty?
When we hear the word “poor,” most of us immediately think of those who are struggling financially. This may be accompanied with preconceived assumptions about how they look or smell, as well as their background, race, or how they got into their situation.
Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert's book “When Helping Hurts” has been a huge help in establishing our vision and ministry strategy. “Poverty is the outcome of relationships (with God, creation, others, and ourselves) that DO NOT WORK, that ARE NOT JUST, that ARE NOT FOR LIFE, that ARE NOT HARMONIOUS or ENJOYABLE,” we've come to understand. “Poverty is the lack of SHALOM in all of its forms.”
With this in mind, we can understand that poverty is a much bigger, global concern, particularly in terms of our connection with God.
“…EVERYONE has sinned and is distant from God's saving presence,” says Romans 3:23.
That means that everyone is spiritually poor, regardless of their titles, financial accounts, belongings, or honors. We are all powerless, hopeless, and desperate as a result of our sin. We are spiritually and morally impoverished without Christ. Thankfully, we serve a God who, in addition to being righteous, is kind and loving.
“This is the measure of God's love for the world: He gave his one and only Son.” And this is why: so that no one needs to be ruined; everyone can have a complete and permanent existence by trusting in him. God didn't send his Son to earth just to point an accusing finger and tell the world how horrible things were. He came to provide a hand, to put everything back in order” (John 3:16-17).
So, while we provide a volunteer-based/credit-earning system, an expanded grocery and thrift store, educational opportunities, and access to technology and childcare, sharing God's love is at the heart of our goal, because only He can bring about genuine and long-term change.
“In the end, poverty alleviation will not be possible until individuals accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. While the biblical ideal is for the gospel to be delivered through both word and acts, the Bible plainly states that “no one can be saved until the gospel is preached verbally” (Corbett/Fikkert).
“Since we've amassed this long and miserable record as sinners, proving that we're absolutely incapable of living the magnificent lives God intends for us, God did it for us,” says one reading of Romans 3:23. He put us in right standing with himself out of simple compassion. This is a true gift. He helped us get out of the mess we were in and put us back where he wanted us to be. And he did it via Jesus Christ” (The Message).
What is material and spiritual poverty?
The soul's demands cannot be met by a plethora of material possessions. As a result, in addition to monetary poverty, there is spiritual poverty, or a lack of awareness to spiritual things, or a spiritual poverty.
What does it mean to be broke spiritually?
Emotionally and spiritually broken Brokenness on the emotional and spiritual levels can take many forms. It could signify a messed-up life full with flaws. It could imply that you've been heartbroken by a previous romance. It could indicate emotional damage from past deep wounds.
What does poverty mean in the Bible?
Poverty is defined as a lack of property or a lack of sufficient property for a decent subsistence; needy. ‘You shall stretch out your hand to your brother, to the needy, and to the impoverished in your land,' I command you. (Deuteronomy 15:7-11) This text perfectly expresses Jesus' heart and goal.
What do you mean by spirituality?
Spirituality is defined as the awareness of a feeling, sense, or belief that there is something more to being human than sensory experience, and that the greater total of which we are a part is cosmic or divine in nature.
What is poor in spirit Catholic?
‘Poor in spirit,' to modern ears, is an unusual statement, at least outside of religious circles. The traditional interpretation, which is popular among evangelicals, is that it refers to persons who recognize their spiritual poverty and need for God. The phrase “blessed are the mourners” refers to people who repent and lament for their misdeeds.
Now, all of this is very true. If you come to God like that, he will not reject you. In the story of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector, Jesus teaches this. “God, thank you that I'm not like other peoplegreedy, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector,” the Pharisee prayed. “God, have mercy on me, a sinner!” said the tax collector as he hung his head. CSB Luke 18:10-14 The tax collector, not the Pharisee, went home with God, according to Jesus.
In Luke's Gospel's Beatitudes, Jesus simply declares, “Blessed are you who are impoverished, for the kingdom of God is yours.” 6:20 in the Bible. There isn't any talk of being impoverished in spirit, only destitute. Not only that, but the impoverished are pitted against the wealthy. “But woe to the wealthy, for you have earned your reward” (v 24). Similarly, Jesus contrasted those who are hungry with those who are already full, and those who grieve with those who laugh (verses 21&25).
In Matthew, this is the same word meaning poor, and it is a very severe epithet. There are two separate words in Greek that we interpret as impoverished in the New Testament. The word alludes to the grinding poverty of the absolute poorest, the beggar bowed down by poverty (ptchos).
Jesus is implying that the kingdom of God belongs to the lowest of the poor financially, to those who have been crushed by poverty, whereas the wealthy have already received their recompense. This may appear radical, but it is similar to another of Jesus' teachings, which he repeated over and over: “Many who are first will be last, and the last will be first” (Matt 19:30 also Matt 20:16 Mark 10:31 & Luke 13:30).
Who are the poor in spirit in Matthew's Beatitudes if Jesus is standing with those who are materially impoverished in Luke's Beatitudes? How can a human spirit be impoverished?
There's no need to engage into philosophical debates about the nature of the human spirit, thankfully. The depictions of this inner component of the human being in the Bible are much simpler, and the people portrayed are extremely recognisable when we see them.
Because of everything God had done, Mary characterized her spirit as celebrating, literally bouncing with delight, when she visited her cousin Elizabeth Luke 1:47.
Peter's spirit was defined by Jesus as willing, albeit the word ‘willing' does not do the word credit. ‘Eager' is getting closer. “Stay attentive and pray so that you will not succumb to temptation,” Jesus advised. “The flesh is weak, but the spirit is eager.” CEB (Matthew 26:41). Peter was filled with zeal in his heart, resolved to follow Jesus no matter what the cost. However, Jesus recognized that the remainder of Peter was not up to the task and that Peter would soon betray him. Peter's attitude was strong and full of passion and self-assurance. His spirit, on the other hand, was ‘writing checks that his body couldn't cash.'
On the other hand, below are some of the Old Testament's portrayals of the human spirit (quotations from the Christian Standard Bible CSB).
The human soul might be cheerful, as Mary was, or eager, as Peter was, or it can be broken, crushed, or afflicted. If the kingdom of God is for people who are bowed down by financial necessity and exterior conditions in Luke's Beatitudes, Jesus welcomes those who are crushed and shattered on the inside in Matthew.
These Beatitudes aren't about our dependence on God, though that is true as well. Instead, it's about Jesus' personal compassion, his identification with the poorest of the poor, and his outreach to the outcasts and shattered.
We cannot undervalue how significant this is to Jesus, and how significant it should be to us as his followers. The gospels are replete with instances of Jesus ministering to the impoverished and misfits. By eating with tax collectors and sinners, Jesus astonished and outraged polite society and the religious elite. After the Sermon on the Mount, the first thing we see Jesus do is transgress the Old Testament purity requirements by touching an unclean leper and curing him (Matthew 8:1-4).
If the Sermon on the Mount is “the manifesto of the Kingdom of God,” then Jesus' inaugural speech, where he revealed his personal commission from God his father, was when he spoke in the Synagogue in Nazareth and read out from the Messianic prophesy in Isaiah 61.
4:16 Luke (WEB) He returned to Nazareth, where he had been raised. On the Sabbath, he went inside the synagogue and stood up to read, as was his tradition.
He was given the book of the prophet Isaiah. He took out the book and opened it to the page where it was written.
18″The Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the needy, thus the Spirit of the Lord is upon me. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom to the prisoners, to restore sight to the blind, and to set free those who have been crushed.
20He sat down after closing the book and returning it to the attendant. Everyone in the synagogue had their gaze fixed on him.
21He began by telling them, “Today, in your hearing, this Scripture has been fulfilled.”
See the similarities between Jesus' preaching of Isaiah 61 and the Beatitudes, Jesus' compassion for the impoverished, the crushed, and the brokenhearted?
It's not simply about being forgiven of our sins and going to heaven in the kingdom of God that Jesus calls us to. It's about God's love and compassion for us, and how that love manifests itself in our lives, the church, and society as a whole. It's about encouraging oppressed people to love their adversaries and forgive their oppressors while fighting injustices, discrimination, and intolerance that oppress and marginalize them. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus went on to tell his followers that they should be salt and light to the entire world. It was just as extreme to read from Isaiah 61 and announce its fulfillment. Spiritually, we comprehend it, but it was also social. This prophecy was a pronouncement of the year of Jubilee (Lev 25:8-55) for 1st century Jews, with all its social demands of property redistribution, debt forgiveness, and the release of criminals and slaves.
The Beatitudes present a challenge to the well-off and well-adjusted in terms of how we welcome and treat those who are less fortunate than we are. It is a radical statement of Jesus' compassion and open-armed welcome to us in all our brokenness and anguish to the impoverished and hurting.
How can you improve your moral spiritual self?
Religion brings spirituality to some people, but it does not bring spirituality to others. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to spiritual well-being. Here are a few ideas to get you started if you're not sure where to start.
According to a Gallup poll, 43% of Americans claim to be members of a church or other religious organization. These houses of worship provide a variety of opportunities for those living with mental illnesses to connect with others in their communities.
Reconnect with someone or an organization that shares your ideas and thoughts, whether online, over the phone, or in person. Find ways to connect with like-minded people in your religion community who can support and encourage you by reaching out to a pastor or spiritual leader.
“Many people's support mechanisms were taken away from them during the pandemicchurch, volunteering, support groups,” Wester added. “It was especially difficult for individuals who were already dealing with mental health concerns.” I advise people to reconnect with their religion group as soon as they are physically secure to do so.”
It's fine if you don't have a faith community. Finding a cause that resonates to you and giving back is another way to feel connected to your spirituality and faith. Working in a food pantry, becoming a mentor or tutor, or fostering an animal are all options. As a result, your community will develop and you will be able to meet individuals who share your interests. It will offer you a sense of purpose and thankfulness to serve others.
You don't have to be a yogi to benefit from the practice's spiritual benefits. Yoga is suitable for people of all ages and abilities. It can improve your mind and spirit, as well as strengthen and stretch your body, by lowering stress, depression, and anxiety symptoms.
You don't have to be an expert meditator like you don't have to be an experienced yoga practitioner. Because it takes so little time, meditation is one of the easiest disciplines to keep. “Some people believe you must sit and be silent, but this is not the case,” Wester explained. “You can walk while meditating, paying attention to the sensations of your feet on the ground and the intricacies of your surroundings. Simply slowing down your body can help you calm down your mind.”
Even five minutes of meditation can help you reduce stress, despair, and worry while also increasing your mindfulness. There are numerous fantastic guided meditation applications, such as Calm or Balance, if you need help.
Writing can help you process your emotions, raise your awareness, and provide a nonjudgmental space for you to express your feelings in the present. Start a daily thankfulness notebook with prompts or write down your anxieties and fears.
Spending time in nature, whether you live in the mountains, the desert, or near the ocean, can improve your spiritual health. You can't seem to get away from your phone, your day, and your problems. Even a few minutes spent watching the birds, trees swinging in the breeze, or crashing waves on the shoreline can be relaxing.
Find activities that you enjoy, such as knitting, coloring, cooking, sports, or working out. Focusing on things you enjoy might help you regain a feeling of purpose and stay present in the moment, even if only for a short time.
If you're having trouble connecting with your spiritual side or your mental health, get help from someone who is specially trained or someone you trust.
“Chaplains are specifically equipped to deal with religious issues in a clinical setting,” Wester added. They can assist validate your feelings without sweeping them under the rug. They can help you get back on track spiritually.”
What is the opposite of poor in spirit?
As usual, Jesus questions our perceptions of life and the world. Knowing God's blessing does not mean that life's challenges disappear; rather, our actual source of blessing and joy is founded in something much deeper and more certain: God himself.
What does it mean to be spiritually poor? The spiritually poor are persons who recognize their spiritual bankruptcy and poverty. The poor in heart are individuals who mourn their sin, acknowledging that they have no righteousness of their own and must rely solely on God and his grace.
Give yourself permission to grieve
According to Palumbo, grief is different for everyone, and the greatest thing you can do for yourself is to allow yourself to feel all of your sadness, anger, loneliness, and guilt.
“By doing so, you may unknowingly give others around you permission to feel their own pain as well, and you will no longer feel alone.” You might find that a friend has been through something similar and can give you some advice.
Take care of yourself
It's easy to forget about your own needs while you're going through a difficult time. Grieving, on the other hand, is not just an emotional but also a physical process. Physical and emotional pain do, in fact, travel through the same neural pathways in the brain, according to study.
Deep breathing, meditation, and exercise can all help you maintain your energy levels. But don't be too hard on yourself about it. Making an effort to eat and remain hydrated can make a big difference. Take things slowly and steadily, one day at a time.
Lead the way in letting people know what you need
According to Kristen Carpenter, PhD, a psychologist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center's Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, “everyone copes with loss in their unique way.”
She suggests being clear about whether you prefer to grieve alone, with the help of close friends, or with a large group of people via social media.
According to Carpenter, putting your requirements out there will spare you from having to think of something on the spur of the moment, and it will allow someone who wants to help you to help you and make your life easier by crossing something off your list.
Write down what you need (aka the ‘notecard method')
- Make a list of everything you require, including both practical and emotional assistance. Mowing the lawn, going food shopping, or simply talking on the phone are all possibilities.
- When people ask how they can help, give them a note card or let them pick something they think they can help with. This reduces the pressure of having to explain your demands when someone asks.
Spending just 2 hours a week outside can enhance your emotional and physical health, according to research. If you can get out to some lovely landscape, that's fantastic. Regular walks around the neighborhood, on the other hand, can be beneficial.
Read self-help books and listen to podcasts
Knowing that others have gone through similar situations and survived can make you feel less alone.
Reading a book on your specific loss (we have some recommendations later in this post) or listening to a podcast about it can also give you with validation and be a helpful method to manage your feelings.
Try a feel-good activity
Set aside time each day to do something that makes you feel good, whether it's writing, catching up with a close friend, or watching a funny show.
Seek professional help
It's critical to share your feelings with others rather than numbing yourself. This is easier said than done, and it's quite acceptable to require assistance.
A mental health expert can assist you in working through painful feelings if you realize that your grief is too much to bear on your own. Even two or three sessions can aid in the development of new coping mechanisms.