November 05, 2007

Not a Chump, Pt. 2 - The Army of the Meek

In the Beatitudes (or blessings; Matt 5:3-10), Christ tells us that "the meek shall inherit the land". The Psalms also include this idea: "But the meek shall inherit the land, and shall delight in abundance of peace." (Ps 36:11) Christ, in fact, is echoing that, reemphasizing this point made by the psalmist.I suspect a lot of people get the wrong idea from those six words.

Yes, "the meek shall inherit the earth" - but I think the meaning intended is "those who show patience and humility", not "those who get walked all over".

Dictionary.com offers us a few definitions for the word "meek":
  1. humbly patient or docile, as under provocation from others.
  2. overly submissive or compliant; spiritless; tame.
If you really look at Christ in the Gospels, at how He speaks and acts, rather than the namby-pamby portrait that so many paint today, it's clear that He would never preach definition #2. Jesus was not submissive, compliant, or spiritless, by far. As C. S. Lewis put it in describing Aslan, Christ is "not a tame lion".That leaves us with the first definition - "humbly patient... under provocation" (sorry dictionary.com; I don't like "docile" in there either). We are called to be patient. Not timid. Not compliant. Patient.

Christ was never timid or compliant. Remember His answer to Pilates' question, "Are you the king of the Jews?" "You say so." (Mark 15:2) Anyone who thinks that reply was resigned or timid has never said something that 'smart' to their parents, as a child. (And those who did may not remember the half-hour or so following the remark.)

We are soldiers, called to be patient, to trudge on no matter how difficult, to claim more than just the easy victories for Christ. When someone challenges our faith - in the smallest way or the greatest - we must hold fast. We must not be timid or compliant, but patient. Explain your beliefs; state your case. If it takes a thousand times, if it takes study and reading, prayer, effort - take it. Be patient and win the battles in your life. If there are some you cannot win, be stubborn and hold your ground. You aren't fighting alone. Christ is the best kind of general - right in the front line, fighting with us.

We have to hold the line in this earthly war against our Enemy. Be patient, Christ tells us - the cavalry is coming. Be patient and hold the line, win the victories - small and large - until the time is right for the last stroke to fall. Even though we meek human beings cannot win the war ourselves, the cavalry is coming. Indeed, from Calvary it comes, charging with a lance that looks suspiciously like a big wooden cross.

meek. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Retrieved November 05, 2007, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/meek

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