Beatitudes: Gentleness not Abrasiveness

Do you like stories where the hero or heroine is the strong, silent type? I do. I like the figure who doesn’t have to speak about how good he or she is, doesn’t have to have a lot of praise, and would prefer to quietly go about business rather than drawing attention. If you didn’t know, this is type of hero God prefers, too.

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. – Matthew 5:5, ESV

Meek can also be translated gentle. We see a parallel set of verses in the Psalms:

Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land. In just a little while, the wicked will be no more; though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there. But the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace. – Psalm 37:8-11, ESV

We are instructed to stay away from anger, to keep away from wrath. We are told not to worry, not to dwell on how evildoers are being successful, because in the end those who trust in God will inherit the land and live in peace. That means if you’re wronged, if you feel stomped on, getting angry and raging back is not the correct path. To go down a path of fury is disobedience; it is sin.

Note that Jesus doesn’t give an exception. He doesn’t say that there’s a point where it’s okay to retaliate back. In Psalm 37, we are told that even when we don’t have as much (verse 16), it’s better than being wicked and having a lot. We are reminded that God won’t forsake us, but will lift us up (verse 34). Therefore, God is telling us we don’t have any reason to think or believe that we need to be like the wicked, especially when it comes to retaliation. We are to be meek, gentle, and trust that God will take care of those who get ahead by evil deeds.

If you think about it, it takes a lot of strength to quietly go about doing the right thing, choosing not to fight back in the same manner, to simply trust and obey. This is why I say God prefers, nay, commands us to be the strong and silent type. This isn’t to say we aren’t to stand up and speak out when we see evil being done. The quiet warrior in movies and in print often states when something is wrong. He or she makes clear what should have happened. And Scripture is consistent in the expectation that we’re supposed to stand up for those who need our aid. We are to make clear what God commands and what is sin. Meekness isn’t wimpiness and it isn’t tolerance for sin. Meekness is quiet strength, assured by the promises of God; it is not resorting to actions in anger but responding in a measured, obedient way.

Embrace meekness. Our society today may not value it. We see antiheroes being presented as the ideal. However, society’s opinion on the matter, what the world thinks is best, isn’t important. God’s command on the subject is the only word that’s relevant. Seek to be the strong, silent type. Put aside anger and fury. Put to rest revenge. The promise is a rich inheritance. Meekness leads to Revelation 21-22. That is what Jesus holds for the ones who choose to be meek. Choose meekness and look forward to the promise.


Comments Off on Beatitudes: Gentleness not Abrasiveness

Filed under Devotional

Comments are closed.