Blessed Are The Meek...

As I was looking through my newsfeed this weekend, the phrase “God is dead” appeared in one of the articles. This phrase is most closely associated with German born Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, 1844 – 1900, one of the most prominent philosophers of the 19th century.

Nietzsche wrote of many things but was especially critical of Christianity because he believed that it inhibits the emergence of the Übermensch, or superman, whose philosophy rises above the morale values of the common man - the idea of a man strong enough to create his own values, strong enough to live without the crutch of traditional Christian morality. He believed the values in the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-11) prevented the full evolution of humanity. In particular, he saw Christ’s emphasis on meekness (v. 5) as crippling to the human heart and mind. Thus, “God is dead” appeared in many of his writings and formed the basis of his view that Christian morality was not a strength, but a weakness.

It strikes me that many today often see meekness as weakness. Viewing meekness as a quality that produces men and women who have no backbone and courage. This represents a false view of meekness. For the two individuals most associated with meekness in Scripture were anything but weak or cowardly. I’m referring, of course, to Moses and Jesus, both of whom are called meek but whose strength of leadership and courage are plainly evident in the Bible (Num. 12:3; 16; Matt. 11:29; 21:12–17).

The concept of meekness can be confusing unless we remember that it takes strength to display meekness and humility. What is this meekness, that it is so powerful? One alternative translation for meekness is “gentleness.” It requires great strength to be gentle. Gentleness is the opposite of abrasiveness, and it flows from that kind of confident strength that is the opposite of arrogance. The person who is secure in their love for God does not need to intimidate but can be kind and humble. Jesus goes on in verses 7-9 to say the meek person is also merciful, pure in heart and a peacemaker.

The person who is meek before God and has that inner strength that enables them to be gentle before others, will display a “quietness of spirit” that will enable them to be temperate. A self-controlled or temperate person is not given to binges of excess, but lives within restraints. This applies even considering Jesus’ words regarding showing love and praying for those who persecute you (Matthew 5:43-45).

We see this most fully expressed in the Son of God, who, though being in the form of God, did not count equality with God as something to be grasped for His own advantage at the expense of others. Instead, He walked the earth with meekness, exercising His power with sensitivity (Phil 2:5–11). And He has promised His meek followers, they will likewise inherit the earth and reign with Him over creation (Matt. 5:5; 28:18; 2 Tim. 2:12).

Lord God, I know you are not dead and that You reign over all the affairs of man. My prayer is that I will display meekness and trust You in all circumstances. Teach me to be humble about myself and confident in You so that I can respond to others with softness and gentleness and patience. Amen

Credit: Ron Kelley

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