Thursday, February 4, 2016

What Does It Mean To Be Meek?

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

When we see the word "meek" we usually associate it with being "weak" or a "pushover". A much better translation would be "gentle" or "humble". Like most other beattitudes, they are counter-intuitive. We usually assume those who would inherit the earth are strong and powerful. But Jesus talks about a different kind of strength, which he modeled. Jesus, though he was in very nature being God, humbled himself and emptied himself and became a servant. Jesus re-defined strength as laying one's life down for the sake of others. He defined greatness as becoming like a servant, not the one looking to be served.

But today Jesus says, "Blessed are those who are meek". Remember "blessed" means "happy". The idea is that a person will have joy if they are meek. The blessedness is more of a spiritual prosperity than earthly gain. Jesus said about himself in Matthew 11:29, "I am meek and lowly in heart". Again this did not mean he was a "pushover", as we see when he called out the Pharisees for their hypocrisy, and turned over the tables of the money changers in the house of God. And it didn't mean Jesus didn't have passion as we read, "Zeal for your house consumes me". (John 2:17, Psalm 69:9)

So where do you feel pressured to conform to the way the world views power? Being humble often means waiting on The Lord. Often I strike out impulsively if someone is stepping on my turf. I am fiercely protective, if I feel I am getting a raw deal. One of the hardest things about being gentle and humble in heart is it forces one to abandon outcomes to God. It forces us to let God justify our cause, rather than ourselves or others.

I can bet each of you can think of a place in your life where you struggling to be more like Jesus in this way. To be gentle and humble in heart, rather anxious for the applause and approval of others. Usually the areas we are fighting to be in control, or are rebelling against God's leading, are areas which are showing us our need to be more meek and mild. And the great promise in this passage is that as we lead lives of humility it is God who will raise us up and we will inherit that which really matters and leads to true happiness.

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