As we continue our series on The Beatitudes, we are at one of my favorite verses, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." (Matthew 5:5). When I try to define the word meek, the first word that tends to come to mind is submissive. I then think of the world around me and the word meek is not one that is often used. In fact, it's not a word that would be considered a "blessing" for many. Many look at being meek as a weakness. If you are meek, then you aren't strong - you aren't in command - you don't have power. In our world today, isn't power and strength everything? If you are in business, you are encouraged to be assertive, to stand your ground, to make your voice heard. If you are in society, you are encouraged to take a stand, be bold, be heard. Certainly these are the ways to get ahead, especially if we want to inherit the earth!
Yet, here, from God's word, we see that being meek will truly bring to us all that we need on this earth. How can that be? Well, let's look at the word meek a little closer. Meek can mean submissive, but it can also mean slow to anger, patient, gentle, and humble. If I had a choice to be described by the those words versus power, assertive, loud, etc, I think I would rather to be known as humble. Here, Jesus tells us that when one possesses the characteristic of being meek, they will have everything they need in this earthly life. Let's take a view of a couple of "meek" people to see what type of life they had.
Joseph - yes the technicolor dream coat Joseph. Here is a very young man, with many brothers, who was a bit boastful in his youth. He was assertive, he wanted his voice heard, and he made sure that his brothers knew who the favored one was. Then, his life took a turn. Through events that weren't so pleasant (being thrown into a well by his brothers, sold as a slave, etc.), he made dramatic changes in his character. He became a person that showed characteristics of meekness. He knew he had a place in God's plans. Yet, God was certainly taking His time to show Joseph all that was going to be his. Yet, Joseph was patient. He had every reason to retaliate against his brothers when he had the chance (I would think withholding some grain/food from them to retaliate for selling him as a slave is a fair trade), but he didn't show anger against his brothers. He invited them into his "new and improved" world and they truly benefited. Through the meekness he showed, he definitely inherited the earth.
I see meekness in the face of people I work with. There are some that are patient, waiting for the right moment for something positive to be seen in their work. There are some that are slow to anger, willing to forgive a co-worker for an unkind word. There are some who are gentle WITH their words to others, and there are also some who are humble. They never take the credit for success on a project. They are quick to give the team credit for work that was done by them.
These can all be seen as a sign of meekness. It is in that level of being meek that people see strength. The strength to "hold their tongue" when they had the opportunity to lash out. The strength to smile and move forward with new plans, although the plans may not be what they want. The strength to be patient, knowing that their time will come and good will prevail. You know what? It does! Just like Joseph, people see this quality with affection, with strength, with determination, and with hope.
I know I have some work to do in being meek. I will continue to strive to become a person who is meek, who can be quiet, be humble, be patient. For I know that when I have shown these qualities throughout my life, good things happened. No, maybe earthly people may not recognize us behaving in that manner, but God does. Ultimately, HE is the one that I want to live for. HE is the one I want to impress. HE is my Savior.
"Dearest Jesus, help me to be a person filled with meekness. Help me to see the qualities associated with one who is meek is far stronger than any "earthly" qualities. May I trust you that when I respond in being meek, YOU will truly provide for me, as you did with Joseph. Thank you, Jesus, for the world around me and all the goodness I experience every day. In your name I pray. Amen."