This month I am teaching a class on the Beatitudes in “Prime Time.” I was reminded of an article by Derek Rishmawy that appeared in Christianity Today in which he stated that he felt that “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” is the most misunderstood and undervalued of all the beatitudes.
It is certain that meekness does not fit into our aggressive, dog-eat-dog society. It would be easy in a culture that values nothing more than “getting ahead” to equate meekness with weakness. But Jesus calls us to be meek. And meekness is modeled in many places in Scripture as a value. Moses is said to be meek (Numbers 12:3), Jesus is meek (Mathew 11:29), and Paul encourages us to “put on” meekness (Colossians 3:12). This quality is so pervasive in the Bible that it is something that a Christ-follower cannot ignore.
What is meekness? Jesus was not a pushover, and both Moses and Paul show us some real personal strength and leadership capabilities. Meekness is a quality that restrains us from anger; it is a mildness of disposition that causes us to not be easily provoked to anger or to take offense quickly. It is humility before God and others.
We live in a culture that is forever poised to strike back, to take a pound of flesh when angered and give no quarter. But a meek Christ-follower will rest deeply and confidently in God and know that our ultimate hope is in Him. When we trust in the One who made the heavens and the earth, we inherit all that He owns. Jesus wants to, and will, help us toward meekness, and as we become meek, He says that we are blessed. In this New Year, let’s take a step away from the quick response, the angry defense or competitive attitude, and let’s learn from Jesus that ultimately in meekness there is strength. Happy New Year.