The Gift of Meekness
Blessed are the meek
How are we to attain greatness for God?
One word. One word aligns our character, controls our substance and places us in a position of honor. God only needs one word to describe the way are to serve Him. Only one word unlocks the mysteries of heaven. This word drives every ounce of humanity’s connection to Him.
John A. Redhead noted that it is so easy to mistake one of the signs of a thing for the thing itself. He explained, “A star gives light, and so does a glowworm, but a glowworm is not a star.” It is all too easy to associate meekness with weakness. We see restraint and we confuse it with inability. We see timing and we confuse it with passivity.
It’s important to understand why Jesus proclaimed that the meek would inherit the earth, but to do that we must first clear up the sullied reputation meekness has attained.
Aristotle describes meekness as the golden mean between extreme anger and extreme anger lessness. It is the great in between. But when we look at meekness, we find that it truly has nothing to do with weakness and much more to do with controlled strength. John Redhead described it best when he said, “The meek man is the man who is always angry at the right time and never angry at the wrong time.”
We can best relay the idea of meekness to animals. A horse bucks when it does not want to be ridden. Maybe the saddle is uncomfortable or maybe it’s bucking because it had a bad experience being ridden in the past. Maybe the horse has too much energy. A horse penned up for too long may buck upon release.
When a horse finally permits a rider to guide it, is the horse any less powerful? Certainly not! Meekness is a will, much like a wild horse, that has been tamed. You may have always accepted the posture of strength, of authority, of vocal abrasion to enact your will. Shouting may have been excused as you rode the myth of strength through forceful coercion, but you couldn’t be farther from the message of Jesus.
There should be an unbridled fire burning inside of you. It’s even ok to be angry. Jesus displayed moments of wrath that are talked about in movies and written about in plays, but Jesus was simultaneously meek. The meek person is always angry at the right time and never angry at the wrong time.
The meek have, and will continue to, inherit the earth.
Those who preached the message of love, who preach the message of Jesus, have multiplied over the centuries as earthly kingdoms have come and gone.
Force will always encounter a greater force. No boxing champion holds his title forever. No building stands for eternity. No army prevails forever, and no human is invincible. But love, love will never be conquered. Love is brash enough to outlast any menacing desire and kind enough to salve any injured emotional wound. Love has a way of being violent and unapologetic but never in an offensive way.
Is strength more attractive word than meekness? On the surface, yes. Meekness is not innately desirable. Strength on the other hand is admired, respected, sought after. Acts of strength are enshrined in books, in legend and in tales of gallantry. We have little respect for the man or woman who is often abused or taken advantage of due to their lack of strength.
It is the strong that raises the banners of success while the meek clean up the confetti. We idolize the heroics of King Leonidas and his brave battle at Thermopylae portrayed most recently in the movie, 300, when he and the Spartans held of thousands of Persian invaders. “Here is a man of strength!” we laud. We strive to be just as strong.
What advantage exists within meekness that can’t be magnified with the force of strength? Who would choose to deny themselves strength in exchange for something as insignificant as meekness?
Perhaps that is why this is so confusing, so upside down. Why would the all-powerful God desire for us to be meek? Surely, those who could never be Him do not threaten him, so why meekness?
Would not a loyal army of the powerful and strong accomplish far more in far less time than the meek? Would you not prefer an army of Leonidas’ in lieu of an army of the scared and feeble? In battle would we not side with the most powerful, not the most humble?
This may be the case in our kingdom, but we are redeemed by the power of the cross. We are no longer bound to follow the rules of our kingdom. Any strength expressed in our kingdom is pseudo-strength. We may be strong in our kingdom, but our strength is utter weakness in God’s Kingdom. Ironically, meekness in God’s Kingdom propels us to great strength.
Our greatest strength falters when we realize the finality of our lives. No matter how much strength we amass we are incapable of sustaining our very breath. God knew that strength would never be longstanding. Strength would distract from the advancement of His Kingdom. Strength would bring temporary pleasure but would sacrifice eternal impact. Strength is nothing more than withering grass and falling flowers.
In an act perfectly aligned with an upside-down Kingdom, God removes the very thing one would expect necessary to rule.
He esteems the meek and in doing so quenches our insatiable desire for strength. Our kingdom requires strength to sustain, but His Kingdom requires meekness.
God’s Kingdom is not reliant on our strength. He possesses limitless strength that extends beyond our existence. When we release our last breath, His strength resumes. Realizing that we can never achieve perfect strength releases us of our need for it.
God is drawn to the meek.
In God’s Kingdom, our strength is a weakness. It limits God’s strength and stifles Kingdom advancement.
What about inheriting the earth? Doesn’t it always seem that the assertive and malicious gain power and prestige? Wouldn’t it seem logical that they would be the ones to manage the weight of the world? Should we not assume that the alpha male, type A personality be the only one trusted with such an extensive task?
However gracious meekness may appear, do not be mistaken. Meekness is supported by incomparable power. Meek may rhyme with weak, but they are most certainly not synonymous. To be meek is not to be void of strength, but to understand its source and offer the essence of our being to that source including our emotion, ambition and intellect.
Meekness is surrendering personal greatness or personal ambition in response to the easy and light calling of Jesus.
The meek inherit the earth because they are completely surrendered to God’s will. If God should choose to exalt, it would not be denied, and if God would choose to withhold, it would be accepted graciously. When we exalt ourselves, it becomes our responsibility to sustain our exaltation. When God exalts, He sustains us. As He exalts us, infinite power is liberally released.
The strong gain but they do not acquire. They take but they do not receive. The strong can never take possession of the earth because they will never possess enough strength to forcefully take it from its creator.
The earth is the Lord’s and all within (Psalm 24:1). No amount of human strength will change that. It is impossible to forcibly inherit anything. It is only in absolute surrender do we receive our God-given inheritance. The earth is ours to receive, not ours to take, so in the upside-down Kingdom, our strength is utterly pointless.
Click here if you missed Part 1, and here if you missed Part 2.