There’s something in Scripture that people refer to as the beatitudes. It can be found in Matthew 5:3-12. When I first heard the word “beatitudes,” I thought that my dyslexic brain had obviously messed up something. Didn’t they mean beauty or attitudes? Alas, no. The beatitudes are the teachings of Jesus, which is also called the Sermon on the Mount. As I began to read the Sermon on the Mount, I was particularly struck by one of the attributes described in these Beatitudes. In Matthew 5:5 it says, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” How can a meek person, sometimes thought as weak, inherit the earth? A dear friend, Jan, shared this perspective of what meekness is:
“Schick, a Christian writer, tells us that Meekness in the ideal follower of Christ, then, comes from a heart of humility first toward God, then toward others. Meekness is far, very far from weakness. The meekness Jesus talks about and that God’s Spirit produces in the believer frees one from pride and gives the power not to retaliate or seek revenge when wronged or slandered, not to demand the best for self or expect certain treatment because of a position held, and not to strive for status, possessions, privileges or rank. Controlling the tongue, not saying what you might want to say, is a great part of acting like and being meek. Judgment is left to God when the meek are mistreated. The consistent prayer of the meek is characterized by praise, faith, and dedication to God’s will.”
You see meekness, as defined by the Greek word “praus,” describes a person who displays a gentle nature, one who is humble and patient, who can handle long-suffering, and who is free of pride. Yes, pride. Jesus came to help the world deal with pride by bringing meekness to us. Jesus wasn’t about self promoting. He was about giving all the glory to God. He told His disciples that God’s kingdom’s greatness comes from being a servant first.
It’s not easy being the one to serve others before yourself. It’s hard work. I know for me there are times I love serving others and other times I feel like everyone just wants something from me. I feel used and abused. Yet, this beatitude is trying to teach us that being strong sometimes mean putting yourself last, not to your detriment, but so that we can love on one another without being self-seeking. No easy task, but with each moment we serve, versus being served, we are seeking the Lord and His best for us. So the next time I feel like I’m being all used up, I will try to remember that God’s strength within me enables me to remain meek.