Do not fret because of the wicked; do not be envious of wrongdoers, for they will soon fade like the grass, and wither like the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; so you will live in the land, and enjoy security…the meek will inherit the land, and delight themselves in abundant prosperity.Psalm 37:1-3, 11
Casper Milquetoast is what most people think about when defining the word “meek.” The word is never associated with something strong, but rather something acquiescing and submissive. It is not generally meant as a word of admiration or respect.
Aristotle defined meekness as a balance between two extremes – becoming angry at the wrong things on one hand and not becoming angry at anything on the other. The ancient Greeks used the word for a wild animal that had been tamed – highly powerful, yet willing its strength to another. The picture above pictures a mother lion carrying her cub in her mouth, though able to crush it in an instant.
When Jesus pronounces a blessing on the meek, he is blessing the one who has willingly brought his/her passions under control. Meekness is an act of intention or will – most certainly not an act of weakness. The idea of meekness acknowledges that it could, at any moment, release itself to destructiveness or death.
Using the idea of Beatitudes as a chain, the person who recognizes personal failing and grieves about it brings a life lacking control and purpose under the control of Christ. The meek person thinks about how his/her most negative impulses are overcome only by the willingness and intention to do so.
In God’s new heavens and earth, the strong and violent will not be present. The meek will people this new reality. True strength will be evident in those who turn their lives over willingly to the One who can make them beautiful. Meek.
Prayer: O God of the Cross, you showed us how to live and where true character resides. The Christ who could destroy his accusers in a moment was, rather, the one who carried our infirmities and, though oppressed, did not protest or resist. He was the perfect picture of meekness. And we pray that you will teach us to be meek and to know that the meek will populate the new earth. In Jesus’ name, we pray this. Amen.