Good morning! How’s your Tuesday and your coffee?
As we continue our conversation on Jesus’ description of living in God’s Kingdom in the here and now, the third descriptive can be difficult for some to consider because most translations of Jesus’ sermon say “Blessed are the meek.”
Meek in our modern culture is almost always used as a negative quality. Merriam-Webster offers several meanings: Enduring injury with patience and without resentment; deficient in spirit and courage; and not violent or strong. Some good can be tweezed from the first one but the other two are not only terrible but counter to the quality of character that Jesus teaches.
To be patient and without resentment are good qualities, whether or not there is an injury to endure. I would argue that to be meek isn’t to be deficient in spirit or courage but strong in both. If I can resist lashing back at you for injuring me, I am showing strength of spirit and great courage because I know that I will not gain true strength by putting you down. Violence and strength are not equivalent; it takes great strength to resist responding to violence with violence.
As we interpret the meaning of Jesus’ words from a Kingdom point of view, to be meek, to be humble (as the Common English Bible translation reads), equips us with the greatest strength, courage, and self-assurance because true humility comes from knowing who and whose we are. This is the blessing.
When we discover who we are as God’s beloved children, we discover that to God we are invaluable. We discover that we are loved as we are. We discover that we don’t need to earn anyone’s approval or prove ourselves worthy. Being God’s beloved is enough.
And when we discover that being God’s beloved is enough, we can love ourselves as God loves us and then we can love others as we love ourselves. We no longer need to dominate others to feel important. We no longer need to seek revenge or retaliation when we are injured. We no longer need to put others down to lift ourselves up. We no longer need to prove that we are better than others because we not only see the image of God in ourself but in everyone else.
Hear God say, “You are enough; You are invaluable.”