When we’re bankrupt we’re broke, but are we broken?

Sure, bankruptcy means we have no resources, no way to pay our bills, and that is devastating. Bankruptcy strips us of every dignity we have: our identity, our self-image, our status, our possessions—what’s left but shame? Unless we hold on to our pride. To be broke is to be broken—unless we’re too proud to declare bankruptcy. Then we scramble, trying to transform nothing into something through some kind of financial alchemy. But only God can make something out of nothing.

Maybe that’s our problem. We try to be our own god in life, to run life our way, to be reliant on self and make it without the holy God who demands the supernatural of us and seems to deny us of life’s pleasures. However, when we decide to be god we end up gaining all we desire but lose all we truly need. Most of us never get the gains that being our own god promise, but we do get all the losses he forgets to tell us about. That’s why we end up broke.

To be spiritually bankrupt is to realize I have hurt my wife, damaged my children, alienated my friends, and sinned against the holy God. Notice I didn’t say my god—not the god I have created, not the god I own. No, I mean the God who created me, the God who owns me even when I refuse to recognize it. Here’s what you need to understand: Jesus continually makes withdrawals from our bankruptcy so He can make deposits of His bounty because that’s the only way He can make us whole.

When we are poor in spirit we are absolutely broken; everything about us is broken, most of all our hearts. Even our independent spirits are broken. This is what it means to be meek, and spiritual bankruptcy inevitably results in spiritual brokenness. Unless we have God’s perspective on being broke and broken, we will be devastated by it all, but once we see bankruptcy and brokenness from God’s point of view, we realize this is the doorway to all we want in life. Our mistake is not in wanting what we desire from life. God planted those desires in us when He created us. Our mistake is in going about getting those desires our way rather than God’s. As a result we do not inherit the earth; we do not get the best God has for us in life here on earth, all of His bounty poured out on us as He desires. But if we declare our bankruptcy and cry out to God, we become meek, submitted to Him in our brokenness, and He blesses us with His bounty, all that He has for us on earth. This does not mean financial prosperity but personal, spiritual prosperity, life as God intended it to be and as He planned it for us when He made us.

To gain God’s bounty we must declare our bankruptcy. Then Jesus makes His final withdrawal and deposits His eternal bounty in us. Then we agree with Him:

Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth.