Our series on the beatitudes continues this weekend. As I was reflecting on how radical the beatitudes are, I became aware of how easy it is to ignore them. We look at them as some sort of “other world” behavior good for some but so far out of the realm of possibilities as far as our behavior goes.
For example look at this “blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” Really? Meek? Aren’t the meek trampled under foot by the aggressive, “non-meek?” If I live that way won’t I be destroyed by those who find such behavior a sign of weakness?
We live in a world where meekness or gentleness is not thought to be behaviors one would seek. Things are too hard, you have to drive yourself to succeed so why would meekness be an advantage? Doesn’t meekness mean weakness?
God doesn’t think so. He says that the gentle are the strongest people among us. The earth is their inheritance.
Arrogance is related to strength in the way the world defines it. It’s not hard to see. You can see it on social media in a very clear way., especially when a person can remain anonymous. When a person is anonymous, it’s easy to feign strength: through sarcasm, criticism, and a host of other ways. Strength, in the way the world looks at it is prideful, pushy, rude and mean. These people will not inherit the earth.
True power and strength comes from God. God enters our lives and changes our hearts. The result is that we begin to look like the beatitudes. It is a strength that the world knows nothing about but it is the kind of strength that is slowly changing the world. We need to be aware that we will not “naturally” live in the way of the beatitudes. We can’t force ourselves to be that way. Our hearts and desires truly need to be changed. It is only changed when the Word enters us and slowly, gradually makes us like Jesus. We can encourage that change or block it. The choice is ours. When we live more and more into this kingdom behavior we are likely to be hurt. But we are guaranteed to inherit the earth. May God continue to change our hearts so that we can witness to the hard-driving, pushy, tragic world that the “Kingdom of God is at hand.”