Christmas is a month away and we are already immersed with carols. They’re pumped into the air as we shop, listen to the radio, or even get gas! What comes to mind when you think about baby Jesus? A poor family searching for a place to give birth, an animal trough for a cradle, shepherds in a field? Even Mariah Carey sings, “Jesus, Jesus, so lowly, meek, and mild.” Let’s discuss what meekness is and ways we imitate Christ when we practice it.
Studying the Beatitudes has intrigued me. I almost want to retranslate them into something like this:
People will call you blessed by God when you are totally dependent on Him; that’s kingdom living!
People will call you blessed when you grieve over your sin; He will comfort you with forgiveness.
People will call you blessed when you are meek…
Does meekness really mean to be weak, quiet, or even shy? No, quite the opposite. The Greek word is paraotes and the meaning is ‘controlled power and strength’. That’s certainly not how I would have defined it before this study.
As we move through these verses from Matt. 5 we find a definite progression. We move from needing God (poor in spirit) into experiencing sorrow over our sin (mourning) and realizing He has forgiven us. At that stage Jesus teaches us that we will naturally progress into the area of forgiving others. That’s where true meekness comes into play. We have the controlled power to forgive those who have hurt us, which brings peace, or stay in bitterness which brings torment. Peace-torment, hmmm; it’s a no-brainer.
Jesus was truly meek because He retained His sovereignty while simultaneously becoming human. He may have seemed lowly and mild but He was a King. His authority to judge and make decrees was still His DNA but He chose to keep it under His Father’s control and obey Him. This controlled power or strength, meekness, belongs to us as well. We have the power to judge others and declare guilt or we can choose to live like Jesus and declare leniency even when they don’t deserve it. Did you catch that? They don’t deserve it: news flash! Neither did you.
When we forgive others, like a judge giving clemency, Jesus teaches that we inherit the earth. Inheritance is a gift, usually given to family, not based on our good works or perfection but on family rights and privileges (read the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11-32). God says to you today, “You are my child and when you forgive those who hurt you, everything I have created, the whole earth, belongs to you.” That should stir up a fresh love for God and others in our spirit.
What name does the Holy Spirit bring to mind as you read this? God’s desire is for you to inherit the earth and live a victorious life using controlled strength, that’s kingdom living and it’s available to you today.