By Matt Redmond
I’ve been reading Springsteen’s new best-selling memoir for the last week. I’m trying to read it slow, but I kinda feel like I grew up with this guy. He was on my radio, on the covers of magazines, and front and center on MTV. He has spent a great deal of time in my tape deck and in my CD player. Still does. I have every album and about a dozen bootlegs. He’s taken up residence in my life as a fixture.
What’s interesting is to read about what he wanted to get out of his driven lifestyle. There is this one story he tells on his album, Live 1975-85, in the middle of “Growin’ Up.” He talks about how his parents wanted him to be anything but a rock and roll singer. His dad wanted him to be a lawyer and his mom wanted him to be an author. He says they wanted him to be one of these things so that he could “get a little something for himself.” Which made sense because he grew up fairly poor in Freehold, New Jersey. But he said, “the problem was that I wanted everything.”
What is strange about the promise of the meek inheriting the earth is that it is the exact opposite of the way our world works. It’s the aggressive and loud and assertive that get the goods in this swift, spinning, ever-changing world.
Blessed are the go-getters. The entrepreneurial. Blessed are the ones who have a little bit of an ego—just enough to want to be great. These are the ones who inherit the brass ring.
Jesus’ original listeners would have heard the promise that way. Remember, these were people who were living in a land occupied by the unclean Romans. Their great hope was for the Messiah to come and give them back the earth beneath their feet. I am sure many a Jewish man secretly chastised his own meekness, and the meekness he saw in others, toward the Roman interlopers.
I love the way Eugene Peterson sums up this verse: “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought” (Matthew 5:5 MSG).
The problem is being content with who you are in a world of discontent. This earth is constantly beaming messages at us that are meant to take away any meekness we have and strip us of any contentment we have found. They promise that if you are anything but meek, you can get a lot for yourself. It’s a deadly trap to fall into. The things our world promise sound great because of our discontent, but to chase after them only breeds more discontent.
However, as those who find our identity in our Jesus, we can be content. We can rest in who we are in Christ. We see the power of meekness in the cross itself.
We are children of God. The redeemed. Those with a hope in the face of all tribulation. And the promise? We shall inherit the new heavens and the new earth.
Written By Matthew B. Redmond
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6 thoughts on "Blessed Are the Meek"
In this 3rd verse of the beatitudes, I’m reminded about how they demonstrate the pattern of salvation, as once preached by my pastor. Conviction of one’s nature of sin (poor in spirit) leads to a sense of despair (mourning), and humility (meekness). Further verses (6-11) can be viewed as a response to Christ’s mercy, and the further empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
Meekness. Consider yourself selfish, egotistical, arrogant, proud, and boastful. What do you get!? Hell. that’s the your endgame there is no humility in your actions or words. The representation you give off is as an angel who tries to dethrone a God which and by he made that angel. So what brings out meekness from us. It’s not a personality issue tho some it’s easy for them to be meek; an obedience issue, submit yourselves to God as one scripture says. And resist the enemy and he will flee. Your obedience brings out meekness, lucifer fell lack of obedience. He could’ve inherited but there was no meekness. However his pride and ego got the best of him; if his spirit takes a hold of us then we surely will not have an inheritance. You obey, forth brings out humility and meekness. Your words and actions captivate a meek full attitude.
Meekness. So often this is looked down on, laughed at, fretted over, feared, and ignored. If asked, I don’t know many people who would openly admit to wanting to be meek. I think this is partly a linguistic issue–our definition of meekness is probably not exactly what Christ had in mind. I often tend to associate meekness with weakness and susceptibility when, rather, meekness is the epitome of mindfulness–it is being content with who I am, as a human being and as a child of God. It is contentment that God breathed me, God loves me, Christ chose me, and I am enough.
Day 4: psalm 37:4 delight yourselves in the lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
I think this is so key. Our goal, each day, is to honor and glorify the lord. To take what we do and be delighted that we are his. God then gives the desires of our hearts. I struggle with this. I tend to give the lord 80% of myself and hold onto the 20% that I want to control. This certainly happens with pursuit of relationships. I rely on myself to make them what they could be. I’m not delighted in giving that part of my life to the lord. It’s hard for me. But God doesn’t deserve 80% of me. He deserves wayyyyy more than that. I’m working on trying to get to that point.
Blessed are the meek. We are called to be humble, quite and submissive to the Lord. We have to block out the distractions (things, status) from the world to realign ourselves with God.
The only way this is possible is to force myself to give up my flesh daily and draw closer to God. What am I focusing on? Things or God?
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