A Contrite Spirit
Scripture: Isaiah 57:15 LB
The high and lofty one who inhabits eternity, the Holy One, says this: I live in that high and holy place where those with contrite, humble spirits dwell; and I refresh the humble and give new courage to those with repentant hearts.
We have been investigating the full meaning of the first beatitude: “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” To complete our understanding, we need to be familiar with the biblical word “contrite.” Webster gives a simple definition: “to feel remorseful.” To have a contrite spirit means that a person senses or feels sorry or repentant for his shortcomings.
Why would Jesus suggest that those who have a contrite spirit will be deeply blessed? Because very few people will sincerely and earnestly seek God with all their hearts while they feel good about themselves. It is in our pain that we reach out for help. When we sincerely reach out to God for help, we will find Him faithfully waiting to step into our mess. It is not our messes that offend God, it is our arrogance. It is that part of us that wants to be in control and be our own little god in our own little world. God can’t and won’t bless that approach to life.
I believe that Christ followers need a contrite spirit all the time. That is not to say we should never feel happy about our lives; it is God’s desire for us to find a healed and healthy life in Him. But there needs to be a constant awareness, a sense of remorse for our daily shortcomings. We must allow this contrite spirit to drive us into a daily dependence on Jesus and His righteousness. We are not to feel condemnation, but we are to recognize our unworthiness. Read our verse for today again. Who will “dwell” with the Holy One?
Father, I am poor in spirit. I am unworthy to live in your presence. My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus Christ and His righteousness. In Jesus’ name, amen.