Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. – Matthew 5:5 (ESV)
Meek rhymes with weak. But that is where the comparisons between the two end. For meekness, much like being poor in spirit, requires humility. In fact, meekness is humbleness.
Being meek is not the same as being mousy or milquetoast. The fact is that being truly humble requires great strength. We humans are sinfully wired to think of ourselves first. True humility enables us to measure ourselves honestly – no more, no less. Humility shows us that we are who we are and where we are in life not because of ourselves, but by the grace and love of God.
Indeed, God gives us humility and gentleness to open our hearts to truly love others – which, after all, is what we are truly called to do. When we focus solely on ourselves, worrying about passing muster or meeting some artificial standard or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, thinking we are “all that and a big ol’ bag of chips”, how can we possibly love another?
I love Matthew Henry’s take on Matthew 5:5:
The meek are happy. The meek are those who quietly submit to God; who can bear insult; are silent, or return a soft answer; who, in their patience, keep possession of their own souls, when they can scarcely keep possession of anything else. These meek ones are happy, even in this world. Meekness promotes wealth, comfort, and safety, even in this world.
As Jesus asked, “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:36, ESV) None whatsoever. Today’s earthly stuff is tomorrow’s kindling. When Jesus talks about inheriting the world, He must be talking about what is important: love, true relationships, trust… the things an inflated ego steals from us. Being meek is a key to living an honest, loving life in Christ to the fullest and, most importantly, being able to honestly reach others with the love of Jesus.