Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:5 ESV)
Being meek can be misunderstood as being submissive and allowing people to take advantage of you. It has a negative connotation because it is perceived as having a weak spirit, perhaps even cowardly. However, in God’s eyes, meekness is having the ability to endure offenses without getting upset and reacting with defensive or retaliatory behaviors. I’ve once heard a pastor say that it’s having all your “strength under control.”
This is an area where I personally struggle and require a lot of work. There are a lot things that anger me, and if I am in involved, then I have a tendency to blow up in a fury. There are days when bad news doesn’t affect me and I just roll with it. And there are other days when I am highly irritable. That’s just part of being human, and I have accepted it.
But consequently, my angry words and actions cannot be taken back because they are ingrained into the memories of the people I hurt, especially my immediate family. Are we allowed to be angry? Of course we are, but we have to be careful not to sin. That is where being meek comes in handy. How does one build up a high tolerance level so that he doesn’t lose his temper and go bonkers? Well, one tactic that I like to use is taking a cognitive pause. It’s when I choose to take a step back and think things through before I react. Again, that is easier said than done, but it is possible and well worth doing over and over again.
I am not quite sure what Jesus means by inheriting the earth. But maybe it is another way of saying that life is much more enjoyable when you are not bitter and irritable. If we learn how to navigate through tough circumstances and interact with challenging personalities, those experiences become valuable lessons, equipping us with thicker skin and refined social skills.
Nobody likes hanging around a grump all the time. So it is in our best interest to assume that everyone has good intent, and to afford them grace whenever it is needed. At the end of the day, our frustrations go home with us unless we learn to let things go. We need to rest so we can start a brand new day, refreshed and ready to inherit the earth.