If you abide in Me and My word abides in you, then you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.
Today, we examine the third beattitude. Our first week we learned that we must approach God with an unhaughty, teachable spirit in order to begin to grow in our Christians lives. Last week the blessing was for those who mourn—those who have a genuine empathy for others, who truly care about the spiritual, mental, emotional and physical well-being of those around them.
Once we allow God to establish both of those attributes firmly in our character, He can move along to begin establishing His third one. This one is recorded in Matthew 5:5. The New American Standard Bible renders this as: “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.” The King James, New King James and New International all say, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
I think substituting the word “gentle” here runs the risk of diluting the meaning. Adolph Hitler could probably be gentle with his mistress. Osama bin Laden, Fidel Castro and other tyrants could probably be gentle with their loved ones. But there’s no way anyone would attribute meekness to any of these men.
The way of this world is to reach out and grab or conquer. It takes a large ego to become a conqueror, to usurp the reins of legitimacy and become a dictator, yes, even to build a huge financial empire through pursuit of legitimate business. Meekness won’t get you there.
Jesus was differentiating kingdom ways and thoughts from those of this world when He made this statement. The Christian grows in his walk and provides for himself and his family, not by conquering new worlds, not by running roughshod over those who stand in his way, but by submitting himself to God.
Meekness, in this sense, means recognizing the limits of one’s self-sufficiency and leaning on an omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God to meet one’s needs. This is the polar opposite of what the world teaches us, and that’s exactly the point Jesus was making with this beattitude. It’s only when we abase ourselves, humble ourselves before God, confess both to ourselves and to Him that we are not sufficient in our own power and invite—even implore—Him to step in and take over, that we align ourselves with kingdom principles and all Him to provide our needs.
What have you been taught the word “meek” means in this context?
How do you see yourself with regard to this type of meekness?
How does submitting yourself to God and allowing Him to provide with your needs compare with what you have been taught?
David N. Walker is a Christian father and grandfather, a grounded pilot and a near-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years as a health insurance agent. Most of that career was spent in Texas, but for a few years he traveled many other states. He started writing about 20 years ago, and has six unpublished novels to use as primers on how NOT to write fiction. He is currently putting the finishing touches on his non-fiction Web Wisdom: Godly Thoughts and Inspiration from the Inbox and starting his new fiction work—a series of novellas set during the period from 1860 to 1880.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me at @davidnwalkertx