The first verse of the Beatitudes in the Bible says, “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the Earth.” Like many others, I always had difficulty with the term meek. To me, it was synonymous with being weak. And yet nothing could be farther from the truth.
The word meek comes from the Greek word praus which translates into strength brought under control. In Matthew 11, Jesus refers to himself as meek: “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Gentle and humble in heart: certainly as the Son of God Jesus had almighty power and could impose that authority upon anyone at any given moment. And still He remained gentle and non-threatening. He had confidence; He had faith in his Heavenly Father; He was willing to summit to the will of Father God in every circumstance.
In the case of anger, it takes great strength and fortitude to keep from reacting aggressively to another when they behave in a manner that is unacceptable to you. The natural inclination of someone who is about to be robbed is to fight back to protect their possessions. Yet in Luke, Jesus tells us that if someone takes your cloak give him your tunic as well. I would be hard-pressed to find someone who would actually follow this teaching today. Most people would fight to protect what is rightfully theirs. But Jesus does not want us to respond with anger for it teaches nothing but fear and power over another. We are called upon to be meek – strong but unaffected by the negative activities around us, i.e. strength brought under control.
In Chapter Eight of The Secret Side of Anger, Acting Out (or In), I speak about aggressive anger which is all fear based. When I perceive someone or something to be a threat I take a defensive posture. In this instance, I lack confidence in my own abilities to be at peace with however the current circumstance unfolds. I have no inner strength – I am controlled by my fear. I am, in fact, weak.
Jesus asks us to respond not from a place of fear but of love, for love is the only force that teaches, transforms, and heals. He asks us to be strong and fearless and surrender to His Will. I have five rescued dogs. Each has the ability to chew up my furniture, destroy my house, pull on the lease or bite me. Yet for each, their love for their master (me) is so great that they submit to what I ask them to do. None of them sleeps on my sofa (as tempting as that may be) but rather in their beds; they do not eat off my plate but rather wait until I put food in their bowls. They instinctively know that by relinquishing their own power and obeying me they will be well cared for – they will reap abundant benefits and their lives will be joyful and filled with love and affection. They will inherit the Earth, so-to-speak.
One who is weak is fragile, deficient, unable to withstand temptation, one without power. None of us was created weak and frail. We have the strength of Almighty God within us and we are being called upon to be humble with our strength, to resist the urge to fight back, to be peaceful warriors who obey their Master. Meek takes far more courage and restraint than aggression.
Strength: confident; able to resist temptation; makes decisions based on moral integrity; unaffected by outside forces.
Meek: confidence without arrogance; humble; strong; willing to obey God.
Meek – Strength: hard to tell them apart for they are one and the same. Be meek. Be humble. Be strong. Follow God. He will never lead you astray.
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