The Beatitudes: Part 4 of 9

I, like all the rest of us, live in the world. Persecution abounds. A prophecy written for these days, Habakkuk 1:2-4 describes these days perfectly. Sometimes its hard to venture out not knowing what I (and other Christians) will have to endure next. How will the world confront me today? As my body deteriorates with age, I find it more and more difficult to be strong, both physically and spiritually. How do I protect my children, if needed, or my lady friend? I find it hard some days to be like Jesus. I slip and fail many times (no doubt because of pride). However, no matter how I feel at times, Jesus is always there with me as long as I seek Him and keep him in focus in my life. He is my (our) protection.

The world defines strength as being assertive, self sufficient, self reliant, independent, and strong. If you’re not, you’re a wuss. The world also looks at meekness as a weakness. I challenge these assertions. Three people in the Bible come to mind when the subject of meek comes into a conversation: Jesus [1], Moses [2], and Paul [3].

Anytime we feel that it is only a wuss that is meek, try it for a week. When someone reproaches you, reviles you, picks on you, or starts in with the name calling, try ignoring the attacks. What if someone calls you the son of a female dog especially if you are with friends or better yet, with your significant other, try walking away, or turn the other cheek? Alternatively, ladies, what if someone calls you that female dog we just talked about while you are with friends or your significant other? (Although I would suspect a husband would step in between the attacker and his significant other to present a wall of defense or take her away.)

You can define biblical meekness as strength under control, for the Bible says that His grace is sufficient for us and that when we are weak, then we are strong [4]. Christ bought us with a price [5] and we are not our own [6]. If we are to be imitators of Christ [7] then we should emulate Him.

Friends and significant others should commend those who turn the other cheek and NOT be ashamed for the reproached. In Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s book, “The Cost of Discipleship,” he defines meekness as “Renouncing our every right and live for the sake of Jesus. The meek should be determined to leave their rights to God alone – non cupidi vindictae [8] as the ancient church paraphrased it.” The Bible simply says in the fourth Beatitude that the meek shall inherit the Earth.

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. [Matthew 5:5 KJV]

If we are to be like Jesus, when people reproach us, we hold our peace; when treated with violence, we endure it patiently; when men chase us away, we yield our ground. As Dietrich intimates in his book, “Our rights are in our Lord. . .that and no more.

Because of the Irish blood that flows through my veins, I find Matthew 5:5 to be one of the hardest of the Beatitudes. However, because of the Lord’s Blood that also flows in me, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. It would take a life time just to learn, practice, and somewhat succeed at the Beatitudes (if any of us can succeed at them), let alone learning and succeeding from the rest of the Bible. What a marvelous book is the Bible. However, if we are meek, the Bible declares that we are blessed [9], have abundance of peace [10], eat and be satisfied [11], taught and guided by the Lord [12], be lifted up [13], and given salvation [14].

Meekness is a sign to an unbelieving world that Christ is in us, but the glory goes to God.
____________________________
[1] Matthew 11:29, Matthew 21:5
[2] Numbers 12:3
[3] 2 Corinthians 10:1
[4] 2 Corinthians 12:9, 10
[5] 1 Corinthians 6:20
[6] 1 Corinthians 6:19; Romans 8:9
[7] Ephesians 5:1, 2
[8] Non cupidi vindictae : Not eager for revenge
[9] Matthew 5:5
[10] Psalms 37:11
[11] Psalms 22:26
[12] Psalms 25:9
[13] Psalms 147:6
[14] Psalms 149:4

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