Facts of the Matter

A weekly letter of encouragement and challenge to business and professional men and women
Wednesday, May 15, 2002
Dear Colleagues,


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That was the oft repeated mantra around our household while I was growing up. Translated, meant maintaining the right address, cars, pedigree, image, and connections, in order to impress those who possessed the ability to help us shimmy up the social and economic ladder one more rung. One key to projecting the correct image was to never, ever let them see you sweat. In reality, however, we functioned like those regal swans that appear to serenely glide across the pond, while peddling like mad underneath the surface!

This morning in my devotions, I was arrested by Jesus statement in Matthew 5:3, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (See Matt. 11:25; 18:1-3; Lk. 4:18; 18:10-14)

True humility poverty of spirit – is the by-product of one who, by his exposure to The Holy Presence, recognizes his utter spiritual destitution, barrenness, weakness, and sterility. Grieved and humbled over the gap between his inner depravity (Matt. 5:4) and Gods consummate perfection, he is compelled to respond to his fellow man with grace and compassion.

Indeed, it is no easy task for the truly poor in spirit to interface with the business environment, driven as it is by mega egos. Anyone evidencing even a trace of brokenness is viewed with disdain, as woefully out of touch. Weak. The proud (termed by Bruce Barton as Gods gift to little men) are, after all,

Accountable to no one Demanding of their rights Judgmental Self-satisfied

Adept at rationalization Exacting Manipulative Slanderous

Arrogant Haughty Merciless Stubborn

Basking in their success Impatient Punctilious Threatening

Censoring In no need of God Self-absorbed Trusting in wealth

Conceited Inflexible Self-important Unashamed

Defensive Intolerant

The fact is, God takes a dim view of the proud,


"God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humbleYou (God) save the humble but bring low those whose eyes are haughtyThe Lord preserves the faithful, but the proud he pays back in fullThe Lordon highlooks upon the lowly, but the proud he knows from afar. (Jms. 4:6b; Psa. 18:27; 31:23b; 138:6b) (See 2 Chron. 26:16-23; Pro. 3:34; 6:16, 17; 8:12,13; 16:5; 29:23; Isa. 2:11; Dan. 5:20-23)

But is profoundly committed to the poor in spirit:


For this is what the high and lofty One says– he who lives forever, whose name is holy: I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contriteto comfort all who mourn. (Isa. 57:15; 61:2b) (See Psa. 34:18; 51:17)

QUESTION: How do you think the folks a notch or two below you on the societal pecking order view you? As poor in spirit, or as one who fits the description of the list above? How do you surmise God sees you?

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