A powerful meekness

A company that’s trying to hire a recent MBA graduate for an executive position would look for several qualities: hard-driving, aggressive, intelligent, assertive, confident.

I can almost guarantee that meekness wouldn’t make the job description. Imagine Human Resources trying to win the boss over to the one they selected. “I think he’s the guy we need. He’s, well, so . . . meek. He’ll be running the company within ten years.” It wouldn’t be very convincing.

Like with so many things, though, Jesus came in and changed all the price tags. What isn’t worth much in a CEO boardroom carries a lot of weight in the Lord’s kingdom. What it takes to follow Jesus is counter-intuitive, and much of it won’t be featured in any business school.

“Blessed are the meek,” Jesus says, “for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5).

Those words were posted in a prominent place once, and someone scrawled this beneath them: “If that’s okay with the rest of you.” Meekness is weakness, the world thinks, and weak people accomplish nothing.

But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Moses was the meekest man on earth (Numbers 12:3), yet he was an incredible, gifted leader of the people of Israel. Abraham was meek, as were David and Isaiah and Esther and Peter and Paul, and God used them to do his will.

Meekness means humility, gentleness, but it also means strength under control. We aren’t meek when we shuffle around with a whipped look on our faces but rather when we submit everything that we are to God’s purposes.

A powerful horse with a bridle in her mouth . . . an enormous ship with a rudder to guide her—there’s nothing weak about either. Jesus’ followers are those with incredible strength, but they use it under the Lord’s oversight and to his glory.

It’s the gentle elder who recognizes his role as a loving shepherd of God’s flock. It’s the sweet mother who trains her children with firm, loving authority. It’s the humble father who leads his family with a quiet confidence that’s shaped by compassion. It’s the committed Christian with the fortitude to stand strong against Satan’s tactics and with a love that touches everyone around her.

The meek will inherit the earth, Jesus says. He’s almost certainly looking forward to that new heaven and new earth—our future dwelling place.

If we submit to the Father’s will here, we’ll reign with him there.

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