In Matthew chapter 5, verses 2 thru 11, Jesus shared eight blessings called The Beatitudes in his Sermon on the Mount. The term beatitude comes from the Latin noun "beātitūdō" which means "happiness." Each Beatitude consists of two phrases: the condition and the result. In almost every case the condition is from familiar Old Testament context, but Jesus teaches a new interpretation. Together, The Beatitudes present a new set of Christian ideals that focus on a spirit of love and humility different in orientation than the usual force and action taken. They echo the ideals of the teachings of Jesus on mercy, spirituality, and compassion. For today, I would like to focus on the third beatitude:
"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." Matthew 5:5
The term "meek" refers in this text refers to a couple key ideas:
- Disposition before God: meekness in this text is not so much an attitude toward people as it is a disposition before God, namely, humility and submission (submission to God's purposes).
- Gentle and Other-Centered: the meek are "gentle," and describes those who do not assert themselves over others in order to further their own agendas.
- Self-Control: meekness is a supreme self-control empowered by the Spirit. In Galatians 5:23 self-control is highlighted as being one of the fruits of the Spirit.
So let me attempt to put this into some real life scenarios:
- Being meek is to be silent or return with a soft answer when others annoy or anger you.
- Being meek is to be able to show your displeasure with someone without relating poorly or in a way that diminishes your Christian witness.
- Being meek is to be cool when others are hot, be one who is rarely and hardly provoked, but quickly and easily pacified.
- Being meek is to be one who would rather forgive twenty injuries than revenge one
- Being meek is to have control over oneself.
If you and I practice being meek as described above, not only will others be blessed to know you, but you yourself will live a blessed or happy life. So how can one apply what we've learned here:
- Try to always be about God's business first, and be willing to submit your life to Him and His purposes in all circumstances.
- Pay very close attention to your actions when annoyed or angered by another, and respond as someone who is "meek," or with self-control.
- Pray that the Lord would give you pause between offense and response.
- Learn to take a deep breath before responding.
- Be know as one who blesses, not destroys, when faced with opposition.