Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth

February 24, 2008

Some interesting points from last week’s sermon about what it means to be meek. While I didn’t agree with everything preached (too long to go into here), I thought the description of the “traits” of meekness was very good.
Basically, according to the preacher, a meek person should have –

• The right knowledge of their spiritual condition
• The right understanding of how they are assessed
• The right balance of their passions

The definition resonated with me because the misconception that meekness is weakness and passivity just irks me. If you’ve ever held yourself back from retaliating at someone who lashed out at you for no good reason, all the time knowing that you could have retaliated and inflicted damage and still maintained your moral high ground, you will know that meekness takes a great deal of strength and self-control. It reminds me of Aristotle’s point that “anyone can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person at the right time, and for the right purpose and in the right way – that is not within everyone’s power and that is not easy”.

It also seems to me that meekness is not one of those character traits you can drift into, as in you have to decide to be meek. That said, it also seems like a ridiculous character trait to have/want without some powerful external motivating force. I mean, what kind of idiot has power and chooses not to exercise it right? Which is why I think the 3 point definition of meekness is a great biblical description of meekness – knowing who you are, knowing whose opinions matter and knowing what you should do. Actually, it sounds like a pretty succinct rule of thumb for Christian living.

As a side point, I realized today that sometimes the indifference can be mistaken for anger. Maybe it is easier to think that people care enough to get angry rather than the more insipid real reason that they just stopped caring and can’t be bothered anymore.

Reality bites.

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