3:17 `Because you say, "I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing," and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked,

Because YOU say

Self assessment usually leads to showing ourselves in "good light" and not "admitting our faults". While nobody wants to hear bad truth, our approval and evaluation really comes from the Lord (2 Corinthians 10:12-18).

  1. I am RICH, and have become WEALTHY, and have need of nothing and
  2. If materially RICH —> faith in God usually is lacking. If spiritually RICH —> they were blinded or oblivious to the intrusion of "worldly things".

    Christ gave us the characteristics of a spiritual Christian in the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12).

  3. you do not know that you are
    • wretched and miserable,
    • poor and blind,
    • and naked.
  4. The Laodiceans could not see their poor state of health in the body (of Christ?) and soul (inward condition). The Smyrnans were recognized (Revelation 2:9) as having poverty (but they were rich). What a contrast between two churches! Lastly, nakedness talks about a shameless way of "showing off" a spiritual way of life (Revelation 16:15) when, in fact, the flesh is doing something totally different. The walk does not match the talk; we need to wear the spiritual garments of purity, righteousness, and the glory of God.