​Beatitudes — Acts that Lead to Life #4

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”

Meekness is often misunderstood as weakness, and they are nowhere near the same thing. Weakness is the inability to act. Weakness is consumed and overcome. Weakness is, well, weak.

Meekness is very different. The Greek word is praus, and the idea of meekness is power under restraint. The word picture is one of a horse with a bit in its mouth. If you think about it, a horse is powerful — far more powerful than any human. Should it choose to do so, it could kill you. And yet, it submits to the bit in its mouth. Is this weakness? Or is it something different?

One way to understand meekness is the idea of passive resistance. Remember the march in Washington, DC, led by Martin Luther King, Jr.? Rather than fight back, we will kneel down and submit. It sounds weak, but it was one of the most powerful moments in the history of the civil rights movement.

It wasn’t that they had no ability to fight. They even had the desire to fight, and most likely the strength to fight. But they chose a different path, and we still tell their story.

Jesus acted this way. As God, He had the ability to do whatever He wanted. As the crucifixion process was happening, at any point He could have said, “Enough!” And it would have been. But He chose a different path, and we still tell His story.

There is something profound and powerful about the story of someone who has the power to take control, but because of the good of someone else, chooses not to. That is at the crux of meekness — that we would lay down our own rights for the well-being of someone else, even though we have the ability, the desire, and the strength to do something more self-serving. We still tell those stories.

May you find the power of meekness. May you be the kind of person who makes others around you better before you worry about yourself. And may your life be a story that is worth telling.