Conscious of Your Spiritual Need?
WERE a person not aware of his physical needs he would soon die from hunger, thirst, exhaustion or exposure, or land in a mental institution. Thus the lonely traveler in the dead of winter will freeze to death because the numbing power of cold makes him unconscious of his danger. People often take drugs in order not to be conscious of their need of rest. Scientists have discovered that it is because the walls of the stomach come together when it is empty that one feels the pain of hunger and thus becomes conscious of his need of food. Obviously it is our senses and nerves that make us conscious of our physical needs so that we will do something about supplying those needs that we may stay alive and enjoy life’s blessings.
But what about our spiritual needs? Are we conscious of those? That it is possible for us not to be conscious of our spiritual needs Jesus Christ made clear in his Revelation to John, where, among other things, he says the following to the lukewarm Christians of Laodicea: “Because you say: ‘I am rich and have acquired riches and do not need anything at all,’ but you do not know you are miserable and pitiable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from me gold refined by fire that you may become rich, and white outer garments that you may become dressed and that the shame of your nakedness may not become manifested, and eyesalve to rub in your eyes that you may see.”—Rev. 3:17, 18, NW.
The fact is that by far the majority of mankind are not conscious of their spiritual need, any more than the antediluvians were aware of their danger when Noah preached to them. Because this being conscious of one’s spiritual need is so rare and at the same time the first requirement Jesus began his “sermon on the mount” with the words: “Happy are those who are conscious of their spiritual need.” Incidentally, how much more meaningful and fitting is this rendering of the New World Translation than the usual “blessed are the poor in spirit.”—Matt. 5:3, NW.
Why are those who are conscious of their spiritual need happy? Because only when we are aware of our true condition is there any hope for improvement. Only if we appreciate how soiled we are, in a spiritual sense, that “there is not a righteous man, not even one,” will we look for spiritual soap and water, the cleansing power of God’s Word and the merit of Christ’s sacrifice, to wash us clean. Only when we appreciate that we have strayed like sheep, and are lost, will we look to the Right Shepherd, Jesus Christ, to guide us in the right way. Only if we are conscious that ‘it is not in mere man to direct his own steps’ will we look to God’s Word. Only if we appreciate our weakness, that the arm of flesh cannot save us, will we look to Jehovah for help.—Rom. 3:10, NW; Jer. 10:23.
Those who are conscious of their spiritual need are happy because they are humble. “God opposes the haughty ones, but he gives undeserved kindness to the humble ones.” Because those who are conscious of their spiritual need are lowly and contrite Jehovah says that he dwells with them. Truly, happy are those who are conscious of their spiritual need. Are you conscious of your spiritual need? Then read on, for the purpose of this magazine is to help all those who are of that mental attitude.—Jas. 4:6, NW.