Today's culture does not praise the meek. It encourages competition, measuring success by how much money or power a person gains. Society does not often consider quiet endurance to be the best course of action. Even the dictionary paints a grim picture of a meek person as a human doormat—one who lacks courage, allowing others to take advantage of him or her without retribution.

Yet in the Beatitudes, Jesus blesses the meek and proclaims that they will inherit the earth. Perhaps meekness is more valuable than it seems on the surface. Maybe even extreme patience is still a virtue. This sermon implies that the refusal to be retaliatory or violent means that one can actually be entrusted with the things of God.

In Collaboration

It is good to stand up for yourself and to set healthy boundaries in your relationships. Some people don't stop there, though. They move quickly from asserting their own rights to seeking control of others' behavior. They may use subtle tactics such as guilt trips or silent treatments to get others to do what they want, and some even resort to more obvious forms of abuse.

Alternatively, choosing meekness means not seeking power over others. It is a way of bringing peace and the security that comes with it into your relationships. When you are not trying to come out of a conflict as the sole winner, you are more likely to be looking for a solution that benefits everyone. This approach usually brings much healthier outcomes.

In Creation

The opposite of meekness is putting one's own needs and desires first. It's easy to see this happening in how humanity treats the environment. Rather than using resources responsibly, corporations often strip the land of every possible fuel and dump chemicals that poison what's left. Individuals put their own convenience above what's good for the earth, filling landfills with the detritus of excessive packaging and other waste.

By contrast, the inclination of the meek to not impose on others unless necessary often extends to the natural environment. They show their care through their habits:

  • Reducing waste by not getting caught up in consumer culture
  • Reusing items that are still good or finding someone else who can
  • Recycling whenever they are able to do so

Proselytizing is a component of many faith traditions. They want to share the good news they have found with others. It is often tempting for these communities to incorporate that goal into the good they do in the world. They may host a supper at a homeless shelter and preach a sermon while people are eating, or they may extend an invitation to choose items of donated clothing to those who attend services.

However, real love serves those in need without any other agenda. One of the most attractive qualities of meek people is that they often look for ways to help others just for the sake of helping. They are typically among the first to volunteer for the work done behind the scenes and don't insist on getting praise for it. Many churches that rely on volunteer efforts would not survive without these natural givers.

It is easy to overlook the contributions of the meek in your faith community. Before you rush to emulate those in the spotlight, however, notice the people who are serving faithfully without drawing attention to themselves. They are the ones who can be trusted with the care of the world.

Category: Jesus Christ

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