“BLESSED ARE THE MEEK, FOR THEY WILL INHERIT THE EARTH.” Matthew 5:4
Meekness does not often come up during discussions about character building. Usually we associate being meek with weakness and think it something to avoid rather than strive for. However, our misunderstanding of the word “meek” does not diminish its value nor discount our necessity of it as followers of Jesus. The word meek as used in the Bile conveys the idea of strength under control. The image of the cowboy riding a horse serves as a good illustration of meekness. It is not uncommon for a horse to stand five feet in height, to weigh over one-thousand pounds and to run at speeds no human could possibly achieve. Yet, unless the horse is still wild, riders are able to control and direct horses. All of the physical power of the horse is submitted to the rider. This is what meekness looks like.
Each of us, if we choose, can submit our lives to the control and direction of God. Or, we can choose to ignore God and attempt to live our life through self-propulsion. We could debate how much power we truly have and how successful life will be if we choose to go it alone. However, the point is that we are not automatons nor puppets who are unwillingly under the control of a cosmic puppeteer. We are beings who have been created in God’s image and we have been given free will. We get to choose whether or not we will submit. God, through Jesus, is inviting us to submit to him and to his will instead of self-will. A little later on in Matthew’s gospel we read about Jesus giving the invitation in this way:
“Come to me, all who are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am meek and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28-29
The one we follow, the savior of the world, was meek. Anyone who has the idea that Jesus was weak in any way needs to re-read the gospels. Jesus is a perfect picture of strength and power submitted to the will of God. We who follow him must aspire to be like him. The promise in Matthew 5:4 is that we will inherit the earth. Interesting that we do not gain the earth by clawing and scraping and fighting to gain it for ourselves. We gain the earth by submitting to the one who created and sustains the earth!